China takes Bengal route

  • SNS

    October 17, 2015 | 03:32 AM
China takes Bengal route

A Chinese PSU is coming up with a bus manufacturing unit in Bengal Aerotropolis airport city project at Andal in Burdwan. The standing committee of the Cabinet on industry, infrastructure and employment cleared the unit on Friday.

According to a member of the committee, the state government has 11 per cent stake in the Bengal Aerotropolis project and so any project that comes up in the airport city has to get the government's clearance. The matter would now be placed before the state Cabinet. The unit would be set up by Zhongtong, a bus manufacturing company, on 15 acres of land in the industrial hub of the airport city. There will be an initial investment of Rs 250 crore and after five years this would rise to Rs 1500 crore.

The buses would be termed as Bengal Zhongtong Bus and the company plans to manufacture 1,500 buses per year. Initially, the buses would have 80 per cent Chinese components and remaining local components and later on this would be revised. The cost of manufacturing these buses would be around 20 per cent cheaper than the common Volvo buses that ply in the city. The company plans to run both inter-city and intra-city fleets.

The unit plans to start functioning from next year and the first bus is likely to roll out from the factory by October 2016.

According to the member, the matter was taken up during chief minister Mamata Banerjee's Singapore trip last year and was finalised by state finance minister Amit Mitra when he visited Kunming for a business trip a few months ago.

Zhongtong Bus Holding Co. Ltd. is a Chinese bus manufacturing company based in Liaocheng, Shangdong Province. The company is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and is one of China's major bus manufacturers. Apart from giving permission for setting up the bus manufacturing unit, the state government also gave approval to set up an apparel park in Sector V. The park would come up on 3.78 acre of land under micro small medium enterprises department. 

The park would be set up on a public private partnership mode and generate around 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. The private developers would be selected through e-auction.   "Bengal once occupied the first position in manufacturing of clothes for children. We are hopeful that the park will help the state regain its lost position. The park would offer both locally manufactured apparel as well branded clothes," said a minister who is also member of the committee.  

Bus manufacturing unit may be set up at Andal.