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Quaked Kutch cruising along in top gear
24 January 2006


BHACHAU (KUTCH): As you cut through the white landscape of salt pans of Maliya and enter Kutch, a farm of windmills greets you.

These slim, tall giants rotate lethargically and harvest, what many feel, winds of change. Kutch is no longer the patch of parched earth, driven by a money order economy.

Having received investments of Rs 14,000 crore, it seems to have left the earthquake of January 26, 2001 behind. In fact, a common refrain here is the economic development that Kutch has seen in the last five years since the earthquake surpasses what it saw in the previous 50 years.

Before the earthquake, the total investment in Kutch, except for Kandla and Mundra, stood at just Rs 481 crore. The investment in Kandla was Rs 3,000 crore.

Today, piped Narmada water has reached the district, its worst-affected towns of Bhuj, Bhachau, Anjar and Rapar have sparkling new homes with broad streets and the recent industrialisation is generating extensive employment.

President of the Bhachau Industrial Association Jayesh Mehta lost his younger brother and sister-in-law in the earthquake and was planning to set up a ’paan’ shop after his home and factory collapsed...

Courtesy
Robin David
[ Monday, January 23, 2006 09:49:20 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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