Finally, Aurangabad gets its auto cluster

After a six-year delay, the third auto cluster in the state after Pune and Nashik has got the green signal with the centre approving Rs 80 crore for the Marathwada Auto Cluster (MAC) in Aurangabad.

It will cater to more than 1,200 ancillary and engineering units and generate jobs. In 2002, the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) had initiated the cluster project. The proposal was submitted to the government in 2003-04. But lack of political will and funds delayed it.

The CMIA again submitted a fresh proposal in 2006 in according with revised guidelines of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, but got no results.

CMIA recently held an apex committee meeting in New Delhi with the officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry for approval of the project under the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme.

"Finally, our dream has come true," said Ashish Garde, Hon. Secretary, CMIA to The Sunday Express.

Ajay Shankar, Secretary, Renu Sharma, Joint Secretary and Director Shashi Ranjan Kumar of the department reviewed the revised project report for MAC and approved a central grant of Rs 60 crore. The state will contribute the rest. CMIA has already formed a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Marathwada Auto Cluster for setting up the facility in Aurangabad.

This is the third such project in Maharashtra. In Pune, the local industries association, MCCIA, has set up an Auto Cluster Project in association with Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and another is coming up in Nashik.

The delay in the Aurangabad cluster had led to consternation among industrialists considering that CM Ashok Chavan and Union Heavy Industry Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh hailed from Marathwada,. Garde said the MAC will target industries like CAD / CAM, Polymer, Auto Electronics, Auto Engineering, Rubber Components and general engineering sectors.  

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