Mumbai’s infrastructure worries are now impacting the growth aspects of India Inc too, with Larsen and Toubro, one of India’s largest engineering companies, being forced to shift base out of Mumbai to Gujarat as logistically the island city has become a nightmare.
For the Powai-headquartered company, moving big machinery to the Mumbai Port Trust in South Mumbai and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Panvel is next to impossible due to chaotic traffic and congested roads.
A Mumbai Mirror report on Saturday quoted an L&T spokesman as saying that Mumbai’s new bridges and flyovers are making it “extremely difficult to ship out large fabricated items to the docks or out of Mumbai.” Add to that inflation and the high cost of living.
Touted as a favorite of corporates, it’s hardly surprising that L&T would want to shift the bigger jobs at its heavy engineering unit to Gujarat. The company has already invested Rs 8,000 crore in Gujarat and employs 5,000 at its Hazira unit.
L&T is planning power and manufacturing plants in Hazira and in Vadodara, which the company feels will be one of the largest core-engineering hubs in India by 2020. Vadodara is home to global engineering giants like ABB, Alstom, Bombardier, and Siemens. Besides, the easy availability of human resource, road and rail connectivity and proximity to Mumbai makes it an ideal destination.
Meanwhile, the Narendra-Modi led state has also won several brownie points in urban infrastructure development projects. According to an Economic Times report, a majority of models like self-financing of a road project or intelligent traffic system for safe public transport suggested by the Union urban development ministry to state governments are from Gujarat.