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Kurnool: Endowed with rich history, resources

District holds great potential for starting agri, aqua-based industrial ventures

Kurnool: Endowed with rich history, resources
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Kurnool: Endowed with rich history, resources

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Kurnool: KURNOOL district is largely an agriculture-based economy. Around 8,044 industries registered under small, micro, medium, mega and large category are functioning in the district. There is no manufacturing, aqua and agro-based industry. Majority of the industries located in the district are stone-crushing (gravel-making) and stone slab units at Bethamcherla in Dhone.

Kurnool could be touted as a tourism destination as several temples are located in the district. Srisailam, Mantralayam, Mahanandi, Yaganti, Ahobilam, Omkaram and Kalvabugga are the major shrines to begin with. The rock garden at Orvakal and the Owk Belum Caves in Banaganapalle attract a large number of tourists every year.

The stone slabs manufactured at Bethamcherla in Dhone constituency are transported to various parts of the county and abroad as well. Yemmignoor, a well-known destination for the handloom industry, is losing its sheen as the weavers' families are diversifying into other professions owing to the non-availability of raw material at subsidized rates. There is a plan on papers to set up a textile park in Yemmiganur, but no step has been taken so far in this regard by any government.

Kurnool, apart from Madanapalle, is the major producer of tomatoes. During the season, the tomato growers cry foul for not getting the minimum support price for their produce. As a result, tonnes of tomatoes were thrown away on the roads as waste. The residents of Pathikonda, Alur, Aspari, Thuggali, Peravali and Kodumur have been demanding that a tomato juice processing factory be set up in the district. This would benefit the farmers and the people of the area in general.

Dolomite, limestone, quartz and iron ore are some of the minerals largely available in Kurnool district. Iron ore is abundantly available in the Dhone area. Consequently, a mining college was proposed but, unfortunately the proposal is still on the cards. BSNL and a bottling unit can be listed as the only public sector units in the district.

There are around 8,044 small, medium, micro, large and mega industries. Of them, around 14 are large and mega industries while the remaining are small, medium and micro industries. The total workforce employed in these industries is 28,770.

While Ramco, Ultratech, Prism, Jaya Jyothi Cement, Jain Irrigation, GeoMysore Services India Pvt Ltd, Jayaraj Ispat Limited, MPL Mineral Processing Pvt Ltd, Shanti Ram Chemicals, Nandi Grain, RK Agri Industries and Sigachi Industries are already functioning, NSL Mining Resources is yet to start operations. The 14 mega and large industries were set up at a cost of Rs16.337 crore.

According to sources, there is a large scope for setting up of new industrial units in the district. However, availability of skilled technicians is a big challenge, and marketing the products adds up as another factor to be considered, the source stated.

Varikuntala Narendra
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