NEW DELHI, Aug 17 - Concerned with the prospect of facing lower demand for plastics in the North East, the Centre has endorsed the suggestion to set up a second plastic park in Guwahati in addition to the one at Tinsukia. The Assam Gas Cracker Project (AGCP) is scheduled to be commissioned next month.
The Centre�s anxiety emanated from reports that the per capita consumption of plastic in the North East is only two kg, while for the rest of India, it is 10 kg, leading to the conclusion that there is a huge scope for development of plastic parks in the North Eastern States.
Official sources said that the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals ((DCPC) is chalking out a plan to push for a second park. A proposal has also been made to the Assam Government to set up a plastic park at Guwahati, apart from the one proposed at Tinsukia to make use of the huge quantum of feedstock produced by AGCP.
Sources said that the Department also plans to advocate plastic parks in the nearby North Eastern States to set up their own plastic parks for which feedstock could be conveniently supplied by AGCP. Further, the Department proposes to involve CIPET to train the local people in plastics-related skill development programmes so that they may be able to get suitable placement in AGCP and other related industries.
Sources said the DCPC has approved setting up of the plastic park in Tinsukia district on 173 acres of land. The plastic park is being developed by Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), for which the Department has released the first instalment of Rs 8 crore as grant-in-aid in 2013-14. The park is expected to generate employment of 16,471, which includes direct employment to 6,806 and indirect employment to 9,665.
The construction of boundary wall, internal roads and electrification of the proposed park has been completed and site infrastructure development works are being initiated.
Further, the Centre proposes to develop downstream plastic processing industries in Assam and NER, Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) along with GAIL, the main promoter of AGCP have conducted several awareness workshops across Assam. BCPL is also planning to organise two more awareness workshops in Guwahati and Imphal.
CIPET, NEDFI and the Industries Department of the Government of Assam have been involved in all awareness workshops and related programmes. In addition, industrial visit of entrepreneurs have been arranged by BCPL in association with GAIL to Kanpur and GAIL Polymer Technology Centre, Noida for technical upgradation.
At least 671 new entrepreneurs have been approached for setting up downstream plastic processing industries in the North Eastern Region. CIPET has been entrusted by DCPC with a mandate to fulfil the skill requirements of the plastic industry in the country. CIPET has two training centres in the North Eastern Region, at Guwahati and Imphal, which offer short and long-duration courses, including job- oriented operator-level training programme in the areas of plastic processing.
The facilities and expertise of these centres are utilised by the North Eastern States to meet the trained skilled manpower requirement of the plastic and allied industry.
The initial cost of the project was Rs 5,460.61 crore. The revised cost estimate of the project is Rs 8,920 crore. Pre-commissioning activities in several units are in progress.