DANKUNI: Want to own a part of the freight corridor? Mamata Banerjee is listening. On Tuesday, the railway minister invited industrialists to invest in the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), promising an equivalent share of earnings in return and permission to set up industries on railways land close to the corridor that will stretch from Dankuni to Ludhiana.
"The plans are ready. All you have to do is invest. Should someone pay 30% of the cost for a certain stretch, he will have an equivalent share in the project," Mamata said while laying the foundation stone for the EDFC at Dankuni on the outskirts of Kolkata.
"To begin with, we are investing `190.46 crore for the 25.41 km stretch from Dankuni to Chandanpur. This line will come up on railways land. We have sufficient land till Palsit. Industrialists can take it ahead from Palsit. This is a policy that we have formulated. On November 24, I will be meeting industry captains to discuss the matter," the railways minister said.
Mamata, once perceived as anti-industry, is on a makeover mode and is going all out to build bridges with the business world. There were a number of prominent industrialists at the Dankuni event too. All of them pledged support to the railways.
According to G P Goenka, such corridors are essential for faster movement of goods.
"This will boost the economy of the state," he said. Sougata Mukherjee, regional director, CII, hailed it as a "great initiative that would bring about accelerated development and growth for the region".