In a big boost to Kerala’s industrial sector, the Centre has decided to extend the Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor to Coimbatore and then to Kochi. The decision was conveyed to the state government by the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT), a government release said.

Two integrated manufacturing clusters (IMCs) would be developed–at Palakkad and Salem in Tamil Nadu, the release said.

It had been Kerala’s plea for long to include the state in the corridor and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made a strong pitch for the same. The setting up of the corridor would contribute to developing manufacturing industries in the region and transform the Kochi-Palakkad region into a major manufacturing hub of South India.

According to the norms of the NICDIT, about 2,000 to 5,000 acres of land is required to set up the IMCs. However, after the Kerala government informed about the difficulties in making land available, the Centre has accepted the state’s plea to set it up in 1,800 acres.

The release also stated that the state and Central government would jointly form a special purpose vehicle to manage the clusters. The cluster in Kerala will come up on either side of the Kochi-Salem national highway and is expected to provide 10,000 jobs.