Saturday, January 08, 2011

Madurai 2020

About Madurai
One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings. The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers. The Vaigai is a river in Tamil Nadu state of southern India. It originates in the Periyar Plateau of the Western Ghats range, and flows northeast through the Kambam Valley, which lies between the Palni Hills to the north and the Varushanad Hills to the south. As it rounds the eastern corner of the Varushanad Hills, the river turns southeast, running through the region of Pandya Nadu. Madurai, the largest city in the Pandya Nadu region and its ancient capital, lies on the Vaigai.

Advantages of our city - Madurai
• One of the fastest growing industrial cities in south India with 4 industrial estates, 1 International Airport, 5 bus stands & 1 IT Park and more historical tourist places for entertainment.
• Well recognized Information Technology skills
• Wide gap between personnel costs in India and developed countries
• Combination skill sets easily available (For ex: computer and legal or medical skills)
• Strong government support for all such activities
• Excellent training infrastructure
• Lower infrastructure costs
• The city houses world class institutes and industries like Anna University, KLN Institutions, MKU, RLI, Velammal International School, Dinamalar, Apollo Hospitals, TVS, PRP Exports and Honeywell to name a few. With direct flight connections from all metro cities.
• Rapid turnover of engineers and skilled people
• English speaking IT talented peoples
• Excellent Telecom infrastructure in major cities and the telecom costs have dropped by about 85% in 3 years.
• India proved better than China on account of several factors. The study pointed out that China lags behind India in terms experience and other important factors like IT and management education, language skills, concerns about intellectual property and overall country risk.

India a land striving for Unity among diversities is rich by a cultural heritage and grooming entrepreneurs. Though not big shots, most of them have established under Small Scale Industries. The SSIs being the provider of inputs to the Big Business Houses are playing a major role in the economy.
SSI includes industrial undertakings in which investments in Fixed Assets in Plant & Machinery excluding Land & Buildings whether held under ownership, lease or hire purchase does not exceed 1 crore. Most of them act as ancillary to Big Business Houses. Some are tiny industries where Fixed Assets including Plant & Machinery is worth only 25 lakhs or below and yet another group concentrates on exports.
Madurai, better known as the temple city of Tamil Nadu, India has many industrial estates. Based on SIDCO's manual Madurai Region includes industrial Estates of Madurai, Kappallur, Andipatti and Theni. These industrial estates emerged as a major supplier of mass consumption items like leather and leather goods, sheet metal goods, stationery, soap, detergent, domestic utensils, toothpaste & tooth powder, preserved fruits and vegetables, wooden and steel furniture, flash light torches and the like. The contribution of the small scale sector in saving foreign exchange through production of a large import substitution items cannot be under estimated. Because of this the SSI occupy a central place in the Indian economy.
As entrepreneurs increased their problems as to production, marketing, infrastructure and Financing, also increased. Many people vaguely quoted it as managerial problems. Going into the details we see that:

* The production problems include raw material availability, capacity utilization, and storage problems.

* The marketing problems arises because of dealing in only one product, cut throat competition, adopting cost oriented method of pricing, lack of advertisement, not branding their products etc.,

* The financial problems include investment risks, procurement of loan from banks and their repayment, meeting day to day expenses and the like.

* The labour problems include highly demanding employees, absenteeism lack of skilled workers and transportation of workers.

* Infrastructure problems also add coal to the fire. Unless and until you have the infrastructure in its place the rest of the efforts are futile.

* Personal problems like spending less time with family and for the whole sweat exerted the rewards have not been favorable.
Though the industrial estates of Madurai Region are performing satisfactorily as far as profits are concerned, they tire a lot and rewards are not commensurate.
Above all starting up a business unit itself poses big problems. Though here in Tamil Nadu, online provisional registration is done for SSIs, and single window system is followed to save lot of time, the promoters have to travel a lot to establish and to place themselves into the shoes of directors.
R. Murugesan, the first Vice-Chancellor of Anna University of Technology, Madurai immediately upon launching Madurai chapter of Anna University with 36 engineering colleges in five districts under its fold, announced the unveiling of a plan called ‘Madurai 2020` for the city`s overall development.
The plan will focus on the development of the city in all aspects during the next 10 years. In the first press conference of the Anna University of Technology, Madurai .here on Wednesday, said that he, along with his experienced faculty, would join the initiatives to create sufficient infrastructure for the city. The university is functioning from the MaduraiKamaraj University`s distance education wing premises on Alagarkoil Road here. Dr. Murugesan, who assumed office on June 21 for a three-year term, told reporters that the land required to set up the permanent campus would be decided soon. Three sites aroundMadurai have shortlisted. The requirement envisaged is about 100 acres. The campus with up to date infrastructure will be ready in Three years, he said.
The university, which was started by the State Government with effect from 2010-11 academic years, has in its fold 36 engineering colleges in five districts- Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram. To start with, the AUT-Madurai will offer M.E., MBA and MCA courses.
Dr. Murugesan said that the university would give priority to industry interaction in its academic programmes. All engineering colleges under its jurisdiction would be asked to conduct coaching classes for Civil Services examination.
Civil Services preparation would be made an optional subject for the third and final year B.E. students.
Improvement of communication skills of rural students, personality development programmes and starting of ‘English Clubs` would receive attention, the Vice-Chancellor informed.
My intention is to figure out what a city like Madurai Needs by 2020 to gain prominence not just in political and cultural space but also in economical space with national if not international importance. My thoughts are as follows:

1. Need an International Airport
2. Need a good Sporting Centre for all sports including cricket where international matches can be hosted.
3. Need a Regional Engineering College or IIT
4. Need lot of Special Economic ZOnes surrounding Madurai.
5. Need huge Housing colonies and satellite towns.
6. Need big Libraries
7. Need good Schools with national reputation.

Plan to make Madurai slum-free

The State Government will implement a massive housing scheme at an estimated cost of Rs. 3200 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to make Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore slum-free cities.

Work on the project will commence in 2007 and it will be completed in seven years, Housing and Slum Clearance Minister Suba Thangavelan told the Assembly on Friday. The Centre and the State would the project cost equally. He was replying to demands pertaining to his Ministry. A total of 1.84 lakh tenements would be constructed; 1.12 lakh tenements in Chennai, 60,257 in Madurai and 12,730 in Coimbatore.

The Minister said the 12th Central Finance Commission had sanctioned Rs. 79.10 crore for slum development in Chennai and other towns in the current financial year. The amount would be utilised for construction of tenements dovetailing reconstruction of dilapidated tenements in Chennai city and other municipal corporations.

Multi-storied tenements

The Government also proposed to construct multi-storied tenements for 18,174 tsunami-hit families in Chennai city at a cost of Rs. 300 crore. These would be built at Tiruvotttiyur in North Chennai and from Nochikuppam to Srinivasapuram and Okkium Thoraipakkam in South Chennai. To avoid congestion and haphazard growth in Chennai and Madurai, the Government planned to create self-contained satellite towns. These would fulfil housing needs of people. In the first phase, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board planned to create satellite town near Chennai on 1,500 acres at an estimated cost of Rs. 500 crore, and in Madurai on 1,000 acres.

The Government would revive the environmental improvement of urban slums scheme, which was discontinued in 2003-04. Under the programme, Rs. 10 crore would be spent on improving basic amenities such as roads, street lights and public fountains in various parts of the State.

As the demand for houses was on the rise, the Housing Board had planned to develop plots and construct houses and multi-storied tenements totalling 2,062 throughout the State in the current financial year at a cost of Rs.166 crore. The Minister assured that steps would be taken to hand over the title deeds to those who had paid the full cost of Housing Board houses. For the benefit of people in rural areas, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Housing Federation was planning to tie up with nationalised banks and obtain a loan of Rs. 100 crore for providing housing loans.

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