Presentation by :
Mr. Rajesh Bhatt
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kutch
KUTCH is the second biggest district of India and today the whole world is eying with a perspective. KUTCH is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, gloried past and of course the Kutchi people are famous all over the world for their entrepreneurship. It is blessed with abundance of nature's gift by having hills at certain places, virgin unexplored Coastal , vast stretches of Desert land , Minerals . so there would be rare District in India which blessed by such multi natural Treasure. These natural sources have made KUTCH famous worldwide. The history of KUTCH has inspired many historians to quench their thirst of knowledge with its deep study and even today Kutch still remains a mystery to many knowledge seekers.
Prior to Independence the ports of Kutch , Kandla , Mandvi, Mundra and Lakhpat were main trade and business centers connected globally. After separation of India Pakistan , the business activities were not too bright and this led many kutchis to move towards different Locations, like the Gulf Countries, Africa, Europe etc.. The hardworking and enterprising Kutchis toiled hard in their new ventures abroad and earned them both fame and money. Such kutchis have never failed to return to their motherland to express their gratitude, they constantly yearned and support in all possible means for their native. They have always showed a keen interest in the development of Kutch and clearly love their motherland.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF KUTCH:
MINERAL WEALTH - Kutch is blessed with immense mineral wealth which is the main source of income and base for its development. Bentonite, Bauxite, Limestone, Lignite, China clay, Salt, Natural Oil, Gas and Gypsum , Herbals are the Natural Treasure of Kutch. The quality of Kutch Bentonite is considered to be one of the best worldwide and is in great demand both nationally and internationally. There is a big share of Kutchchhi Minerals for Govt. Treasury .
Employment opportunities generated from various processing, production, sale and transportation of these minerals. The China clay, Bauxite, and Alumina are similarly in great demand due to their superior quality. There is an immense wealth in Lignite coal and around 1000 trucks are loaded everyday to meet the requirement all over India. It has boosted business and transport activities in Kutch and a very good source of income.
The Ashapura group of Industries is recognized as one of the largest Exporters world wide for Kutchi Bentonite. It is proud for we all Kutchi people that the Bentonote exported worldwide , it is called as ' KUTCHI CLAY ' . This industry too has setup private Jetties abroad to ease exports and faster delivery. Similarly a Mega Alumina Project based on Bauxite is already in progress and MOU has been signed with china to buy back the product.
The Sanghi Cement Industry & JAYPEE CEMENT are well placed economically. Many other plants are in the process to start up their base due to the mineral wealth of lime stone and gypsum at the doorstep. It would not be a surprise if Kutch becomes more famous by having the biggest cement plants of the world.
There is a bright scope for Chemical based Industries because of wide costal which can be proved to be helpful to those units for the absorbing the Chemical waste by the ocean and that is the best place / location for establishing the chemical industries , thus , Mega projects may take place in future. The wide stretching coastal line and windy weather aids in the utilization of wind energy through windmills and Suzlon Energy Ltd. is a big name in Wind Power Generation to have set their foot in kutch to tap into this energy and installed more than 70 wind mills in Kutch costal line.
The wide Coastal Areas The long stretching sea-sides have aided in a lot of economic growth. Salt and Gypsum are exported worldwide and fishery industry too has developed. The international sea coast have flourished and aided great in employment. The two famous ports of Kutch, Kandla and Mundra handle a record export and import of goods; this contributes greatly to National Economic Growth. The great ' Sanghi Cement Plant ' one of Asia's largest cement plant setup in Kutch which utilizes the mineral limestone and its product. This plant exports cement worldwide through private jetties. Two more such massive cement plants are about to set their foot in Kutch in the near future. The boom in the construction industry worldwide has created a great demand of cement. The oceanic wealth has also aided in the Manufacturing of Bromine by the natural elements by a Large unit Agrocel Industries, Bromine is the best solution for flame proofing and exported worldwide. The Ran of Kutch is also famous worldwide as Flamingo Land . Just after monsoon these Siberian Birds fly together in Ran of Kutch and That attracts tourist to visit Kutch.TIMBER ZONE is also recently declared by The Govt. near Kandla Port, which will also boost the financial Strength of KUTCH.
The earthquake in January 2001 has proved to be a blessing in disguise and the godsend calamity has been channelized to aid massive development. The immense growth of Kutch has been noticed world over. The various govt. policies, schemes and benefits have lured many big industries to setup their plants In Kutch thereby aiding in quick growth and economic development. Industries related to Chemicals, Transport, Steel, Electronics, Cement, Automobile , Wind Energy , Ceramics, Steel Pipes, Plywood, and Food processing etc. have been established and are flourishing. A lot of foreign exchange too is earned and many plants are essentially growth oriented.
Post earthquake the developmental activities and growth in Kutch has taken the world by surprise. The whole infrastructure of Kutch has taken a new form and look. The Roads, the Railway, Airways , electricity and water facilities have undergone a great change and it would be very apt to call Kutch an 'Industrial Island......and thats entire credit goes to Mr. Narendra Modiji the most Eminient Chief Minister of Gujarat.
KUTCH CARNIVAL RANNOTSAV Event :
Tourism in Kutch has also gained a great popularity. Govt. of Gujarat organizing RANN UTSAV AND KUTCH CARNIVAL every year , which has given Kutch a special identification in the Treasure of Gujarat Tourism and spread a message worldwide for its charm of enjoying the best experience of Carnival , White desert safari in full moon light and of course a eye catching Tent city accommodation. The Capital BHUJ is the landing location of Kutch. Bhuj is facilitated by 3 Star Hotels and one of the Renown Accommodations : HOTEL PRINCE and PRINCE RESIDENCY , Hotel Ilark , Hotel Mangalam , Hotel Oasis , Hotel KBN , Hotel Sevensky.. have good image and known for their Best Hospitality , which is in the map of Gujarat Tourism Guide Book. BHUJ is connected directly with the World by AIR, TRAIN and BUS Transportation. SANGHI Group has also been provided Land for Building up a Star Hotel in BHUJ. The Kutchi traditional arts, crafts, skills, embroidery have attracted visitors from all areas of the world. Foreign ventures are inquisitive about setting up projects. Kutch which was once considered a backward remote area has suddenly gained tremendous recognition and now people use words like ' VIBRANT KUTCH ' , ' Stronger Kutch ', 'Wealthy and Healthy Kutch'......
The university setup by Kala Raksha to boost the Kutchi artisans and craftsmen is unique and has helped our arts to be recognized world-wide. The international trends and Fashion statements are taken into consideration and this would certainly have a bright future for Kutch Arts & Crafts Industry. The Kutchi Embroidery, Crafts, Tie and Dye work has reached the fashion world. Kutchis are resilient and very soon rise above the catastrophe to come up with something constructive.
Nature has not been very kind and out of every 10 years Kutch faces 7 years with droughts and famines. The famous Sindhu River flowed through Kutch and this is evident from the depth of water available in the soil. It is this water that sustains life during the period of droughts. Cyclones, Droughts, Floods, earthquakes have shattered and rocked Kutch but it has not shaken the spirits of the Kutchchhis.
The Gujarat Govt. has lent immense support to the land of Kutch, specially the scheme of reaching the 'Narmada drinking water to the remotest area is a true blessing. This is a dream come true for Kutch, also in order to meet the demand of water by industries. Around Rs. 600 Crore would be spent for Water desalination project. By extending 'Jyotirgram Yojana ' i.e. 24 hours supply of Electricity to the villages of Kutch and thus , no industry would suffer electricity problems. The govt. has recently announced Kutch as Timber Zone and the business in wood industry will be benefited and many Bigwigs of this Industry would make Kutch their base. Also the announcement of developing SEZ at various places would attract foreign trade and investment.
BANKING IN KUTCH : Kutch district tops the investment figures in various bank among whole of Gujarat. The credit for them goes to the Kutchi NRIs who invest their hard-earned money in the banks of Kutch. The interest by banks is very meager and these deposits are utilized for financing else where outside Kutch. I feel that if financing facilities are equally boosted then Kutch would benefit maximum to setup more projects. The positive approach by banking industry would certainly change the face of finance sector. The head offices of all banks are in Mumbai and hence an earnest appeal from my side to look into this aspect.
TRANSPORT SECTOR : The railway line has been connected with all the main parts and hence transport has been made easy , also with the Private Partnership Programme concept Adani Port have made Facilities of Rail connectivity for easy cargo handling with their Port. The four lane highways also share their responsibility of transport. The recently developed air-route between Kandla-Mumbai has helped the representatives of various firms travel and reach comfortably in the stipulated time limit. India's renowned Airline KINGFISHER and Jet Airways have their daily flight service BHUJ - MUMBAI. There is a great flow of NRIs to kutch and since tourism in Kutch is gaining footage, it would be apt to add that international flights be connected to kutch. The airport in Bhuj is of an International Standard and this facility should be utilized to the maximum. I appeal to the aviation ministry to give this matter due recognition.
THE FUTURE OF KUTCH :
Investment in Industry sector in Kutch because of Tax Holiday after Earthquake 2001 stands at Rs. 35000 Crore and by 2010 more 75000 crores investment is targeted according to MOU taken place. There is no doubt that Kutch in 2010 would certainly be bright, developing, shinning and booming with opportunities. Taking into consideration the past activities of Kutch and its infrastructure one can certainly predict that development in Kutch is inevitable. The Kandla Port of Gujarat Maritime Board and the Adani Port at Mundra have broken all records of handling cargos and opened new avenues. The Mundra port has developed 12 Jetties in last 6 years by benefiting from natural depth of sea. Since ships can be packed directly on Jetty's, loading and unloading of cargos can be done within minimum time. Considering future demands, more construction of Jetties are planned. The air facilities already exists in Kandla and Adani port is also developing private air strip of 2900 mtrs length to lure foreign traders and businessmen. Also a Model SEZs are taking place at ADANI PORT , WELSPUN GROUP , EURO MULTIVISION and more in the pipeline.
The coal-based Mega Power Projects are coming up on a massive scale which would supply electricity to various places all over India. To support this project, I am confident the port of Mundra and Kandla would be utilized to import coal and while going back to the destination , same vessel would be at very cheaper freight rate that will boost Indian products to export and stand with competition with the world market.
The Steel Industry would also get a boost by importing iron ore at a less rate and producing steel. The Suzlon have setup plants to reap wind energy by converting it into electricity with the help of windmills and other units are also in progress for their launching. The ports have aided in repost of various materials and hence various industries related to chemicals, food processing etc can be developed.
The Euro-Ceramics , a name Worldwide in Manufacturing Vitrified Tiles has set a unique example of teaching ceramic skills to individuals along with stipend and free boarding and lodging. Hence the people of Kutch gets employment with specific skill.
HEALTH and CARE :
A state-of-art Hospital shared by the Prime Minister's fund at the expense of more than 130 crores has already come up and the same is allotted to Gujarat's pride ADANI GROUP with a milestone facilitation of MEDICA COLLEGE . When this Hospital becomes fully functional , Medical Tourism will also be boosted. On medical front too Kutch can gain recognition. Medical college would be benefited to Kutch by good, dedicated and efficient doctors may pass out and bring home fame for this motherland.
Along with industrialization, the Tourism Industry too has a very bright future. The five star Industry would be welcomed and the hotel industry will get a boom. A word of caution here is to see whether all this development would contain the Kutchchhi Soul. I hope that kutchchhi would not be thrown out of Kutch. I am sure all the voices against any injustice could be raised. Let us all Kutchchhis unite to present the Kutchchhi Spirit.
Anyone has to accept the truth of the Brightest Future of our KUTCH. The entire world will turn at KUTCHCHHI Land surely.
LONG LIVE KUTCH... PANJO KUTCH ... ASANJO KUTCH
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