When GIREM released its 36 prominent Tier Two cities, which in recent times have been nudging for recognition with their inherent strengths and which in future will shape India’s future, it was time for great jubilation for Belgaumites.
GIREM ‘36 Future Cities’ are in consonance with the national strategy of decongesting the major cities and cater to the needs of the local population for their large-scale employment opportunities. GIREM ‘36 Future Cities’ is focusing on a new strategy to develop smaller cities with immense potential to emerge as a magnet for allied investments with development in key areas of infrastructure, education & research and industry.
But is it only that being in the Top 36 list good for a city. Cities like Hubli-Dharwad, Kolhapur don’t find a place in the top 36, read what a few known Belgaumites feel on the inclusion of Belgaum in the top 36 tier II cities.
Jackbastian K Nazareth
Chief Executive Officer at Puravankara Projects Ltd
Over the last decade of opportunities that India has presented, cities have covered their own comfortable ground. The current era for cities of the future includes institutionalization and corporatisation of several regional and national players leading to global investments and improved transparency. By 2020, India will become the third largest construction market in the world, from the current ninth position. This growth will also force focus on the development in cities that have the potential.
Most Indian cities have undergone expansion owing to the pressure of the fast growing population. Sharing and leveraging of resources especially in roads, power, water supply and airports is critical to any city. Planning of a city needs to be done keeping the citizen in mind. Adopting smarter green design and construction process and incentivising use of energy efficient systems are choices that we must make. A more planned development of cities like Belgaum will bring about a decongestion of larger cities, thereby controlling population migration and providing better quality of life to all stakeholders of the city.
Interdependence of the demographic with the industrial development, educational institutions, and affordable health care is what has already made Belgaum a city to reckon with. Also the salubrious climate and the secular environment, surely makes Belgaum one of the most promising cities of growth in India!
Having surmounted the inner tussles, the city of Belgaum is certainly gearing up to live up to its potential. It has always been on the minds of many in terms of what can be accomplished but there have been nagging issues that we as Belgaumites need to put behind us.Our wonderful city is strategically located almost equidistant from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Banglore; has a myriad of natural resources and a work force with loads of dedication, skills and talent.
Being ranked in a survey on rediff is one issue but the one that one should really be bothered about is the outflow of talent that chooses to migrate to financially greener pastures rather than stay back amidst the naturally lush green joys of Belgaum. Times and trends change and so will this in due course of time. Whether it is a fact or fiction is what only time will tell. The most important thing that the rediff survey could do is to inspire a few to create opportunity rather than move around in search of one.
Dedication can lead to miracles and I dedicate this to the efforts of all those that are dedicating their time and effort to the betterment of the wonderful city of Belgaum. One wish though is that in keeping pace with what is generally perceived as development, we do not and should not lose the peaceful calm, the wonderful weather and everything fantastic that the city has always stood for.
REDIFF GIREM view point and my PROS and CONS analysis
PROS Why Belgaum is a natural choice for GIREM
1) Belgaum bagged 22,000/- CRORES of Investments in GIM 2010 third in state after Bellary and Bagalkot ( Two of the projects are actually Shared between Bellary and Bagalkot )
2) The GIM investment does not include 5000 crores investments from Birla Aluminum plant augmentation capacity, QUEST investments of FARNIA French aviation forging company (estimate not known) Indo Schottle 20 crore investment, Bharat Cement from Dalmia Group investment on Cement plant in Yadwad 460 Crores ( So otherwise the investment size bagged is 27,500 crores)
3) Belgaum based Renuka groups (India 157 Rank in fortune 500 group) is making worth 100 crore investment in other part of state highest (Bellary and Karwar).
4) Belgaum is equidistant to Bangalore Hydrabad and Mumbai also Goa and Pune in near proximity servs best point of coverage.
CONS Why Belgaum being ignored by State Government on following grounds
1) Karnataka Government opened state Aerospace SEZ at Bangalore (Devanhalli) instead of promoting QUEST SEZ (India’s first Aerospace SEZ)
2) Belgaum exports large auto components second next to Bangalore, still not have any Automobile plants (in fact drove them to Dharwad).
3) Recent case of land grab for reserved space of shabby infrastructure of IT park , shows all governments apathy towards Belgaum.
Investment table extracts (based on link from Government body www.bcic.org.in)
http://www.bcic.org.in/economicdigest/July_2010/images/MoU statastics-11-6-2010.xls is a full list below is sorted list with Belgaum standing on third position
*Bellary was influenced by Bellary Brothers and rich iron ore deposits,
*Bagalkot was of home district of Cabinet Minister (holding large Industry portfolio) Mr. Murgesh Nirani, for God knows why he still favors Hubli and Dharwad otherwise.
|District||Investment in Crores|
Director, Bella Vista, Adam Partners
According to me Excellent medical facilities (which attracts senior citizens and retires), good educational institutes, well connected by Road (NH 4 connects it to Mumbai and Bangalore), Air and Train with key metros (overnight trains and buses ply to Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad). Driving distance to Pune and Goa, Low cost of living, Excellent weather & cosmopolitan nature of city (in this respect it beats many bigger cities like Hubli and Kolhapur) are the main reasons for its inclusion. No other city of its size can match Belgaum on above 6 parameters. NRIs from world over can think of settling in Belgaum once they know the positives of the city. Only thing which is missing is employment opportunities for professionals who can be employed in 3-5 Lac salary bracket. That will make engineers and MBAs and other graduates to stay and work in Belgaum and city can flourish similar to Pune and Bangalore. Once that happens, then the recreational facilities (sports complex, shopping malls and food joints will follow) and supporting industries like Banks, hotels, taxi services etc.
R K Patil
Belgaum though comparatively small in area and population still enjoys the cosmopolitanisms due to its demography ( confluence of 3 states culture) and multitudinous of professionals.
Presence of armed forces ( Army & Airforce) establishments also brings in people with diverse culture and habits in one place that mingles with local populace.
The local industries (foundry, Hydraulics) is definitely something to boast about, while it represents the local skill or talent pool it has also helped to gain market outside India. Thus putting Belgaum on Global map.
Even on the cultural front Belgaum has produced some of the best musicians, literates, artists etc. Over all the city/district has all that is required to make a Great Place. A little bit of contribution from the elected members and civic servants and public office bearers and few visionaries is what is lacking.
It is indeed great to hear that Belgaum is getting the attention it deserves. Most of the youth in Tier II cities, after completing education, have to migrate to larger cities in search of jobs. To develop Tier II cities, I think the need of the hour is to bring youth back, by setting up quality educational institutions (in the league of NITs, IISc, IIAP) and organisations such as BHEL. This in turn will be seed for spurring industrial growth and creating future jobs.
The other need is to improve connectivity to these cities, especially by rail and air. The Belgaum to Dharwad railway line, for example, has been needing an upgrade since a long time.
VP, HSBC, Mumbai
Great News and the company in the grand 36 is also no ordinary. While plans for Kolhapur and Hubli remain a mystery, Belgaum has always bettered the two neighbors on Bank deposits for quite some time in the 1st decade of 21st century. However the picture may be changing now.
Geographical location makes a big advantage, the existing set-up will encourage education, auto ancillaries. IT/ITES could be the next in thing for Belgaum, Still EDUCATION as a HUB can make a big difference.
CEO, Spundhan Labs
Belgaum, above all other cities, has the most things going for it to become the next upcoming business hub in India. Being an education hub there is no no shortage for talent. Being equidistant from major hub such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderbad, industries in Belgaum can cater to tier-I clients very easily. The Govt. of Karnataka has already recognized this potential and is taking several initiatives in this direction.