The Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) held its Annual General Meeting on Sat. 30th July 2022. Shivkumar Rao, President, welcomed the members making the introductory remarks.
President Shivkumar Rao handed the baton of President over to Devendra Parekh, while Varun Vijaywargi, Secretary-General and Rahul Upganlawar, Vice-President, swapped posts, the former being appointed VP and the latter as Secretary-General. Two new members were added to the Executive Committee – BK Shukla, VED member, and Chairman of the Mining Committee, and JF Salve, Ex SICOM and currently VP (Projects) at Solar Industries India, Ltd.
Navin Malewar continues to be Treasurer.
Devendra Parekh, said the agenda of VED are long-term issues most of which would be continued by him. Some of them ideated by VP Pradeep Maheshwari like the Refinery cum Petrochemical Complex (RPC), a Ferroalloys cluster in Ramtek, an integrated steel plant and Commando training institute, both in Gadchiroli, would be pursued. Gadchiroli district seems to be the ideal location for a commando training institute where 500 acres of revenue land is readily available at Wadsa Desaiganj for setting up of this project. With this, many local youths could get permanent jobs.
Parekh further intends to carry forward the creation of a textile park in Nandgaonpeth, under the MITRA Scheme (Mega Investment Textiles Parks) Scheme of the Ministry of Textiles as the this place answers all the requirements as an â€˜aspirationalâ€™ place for such a project.
VED is trying hard also to establish an ADC (Asst. Drug Controller) office in Nagpur which would ease pharma unitsâ€™ operations as the office is in now in Mumbai from where NoCs have to be sought. With an ADC office here, new pharma units could set up their units here while the already-established ones could expand, said Parekh.
VED has been consistently trying to establish the Vidarbha region as an iconic education hub for which it is proposing the setting up of a few prestigious institutions here, some of which have already materialised. The National Institute of Design (NID) is one such aspiration, yet to happen, which is internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost multi-disciplinary institutions in the field of design education and research. NID in Nagpur as it would greatly benefit the people of this region of Vidarbha and several central Indian regions. Nagpur is a very suitable location considering its geographical centrality and good air, road and rail connectivity. He also wishes a dairy institute to be set up here. VED had been trying to make Nagpur and its picturesque surroundings as a Film City, an area in which Parekh wishes to revive the efforts of VED.
The mission of VED is the economic development of the Vidarbha region where we live, but we find that one of the main deterrents of such development is the existence of jhudpi jungles or scrub forests on 178525 hectares of land in Vidarbha, which, due to the Forest Conservation Act, cannot be used at all or as a result of which projects like highways, dams etc. get held up or delayed.
This problem does not affect entire Maharashtra; it is a baggage that only Vidarbha is carrying, something that the adjacent state of Madhya Pradesh obviated long back. These are scuttling development here and Parekh as the VED Chief, wishes to resolve this through a legal intervention, if it comes to that.
In Tourism, the Maharashtra Cabinet recently approved of a Rs. 369.78 development plan for the Lonar Crater â€“ Lake, a notified national GO-Heritage Monument situated in Buldhana district. Parekh wishes to pursue this through a facility created in an eco-friendly design where VED would wish to contribute to its planning or be on some civic body concerning its development.
Parekh felt that consistent and relentless pursuing would be needed for achieving all these objectives