Letter to Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

May 10, 2008

To: S. Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
Govt. of India, Parliament Street
New Delhi-110001

Sub: Industrial and Freight Corridor

Dear S. Montek Singh,

Last year, the Government of India announced that it would establish a dedicated freight and industrial corridor covering the area from Mumbai to Dadri. An area approximately 150 kms wide (described as “influence region”) has been identified on both sides of the corridor for development.

On representation by Punjab, this corridor has now been extended up to Ludhiana, following the Delhi-Panipat-Karnal-Ambala-Chandigarh-Ludhiana alignment. This is essentially the Grand Trunk Road which is already a main artery of transportation, and well developed.

Haryana and Punjab have experienced imbalanced development, with the thrust of industrial development efforts and funding going to areas that are already advanced and excluded areas suffering continued neglect. The impact of this misbalance can be seen from the accelerating phenomenon of rural suicides reaching epidemic proportions in the neglected areas. Suicides related to economic hardship are much less along the GT Road where industry helps to absorb surplus rural labour.

We would request you to persuade your government to demand shifting of this industrial and freight corridor through the middle of the states which would be more cost effective as well as beneficial to the people. A brief note on the proposed corridor is enclosed for your perusal.

As this corridor is still in the planning stage therefore there should be no difficulty in modifying the plan. In the interest of ‘more inclusive development’, please urge your government to advocate to central government routing the industrial-freight corridor through the middle of both Haryana and Punjab.

With respectful regards,

Yours sincerely,
Inderjit Singh Jaijee
Former Member
Punjab Legislative Assembly

1501 Sector 36-D, Chandigarh, 160036, Tel. 0172-2600484