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West Bengal
State Emergency
Relief Fund

Industrial Potential in Siliguri



ASSESMENT OF INDUSTRIAL POTENTIAL


Potential industries in Siliguri have been categorized in three groups namely:

Skill Based

Resource based

Demand based


Skill Based


The district traditionally possesses highly skilled labour who are adept in making various handicraft items, like Carpet, Woolen garments, Jackets, Handloom products, Cane and Bamboo craft, Ornaments, Embroidery work, jute work etc. These industries do a brisk business during the tourist season and their market can be easily expanded, if suitable advertisements and other sales promotion measures with ensured buyback and export arrangements are undertaken in an organized manner.


Resource based


Agriculture and Forestry are the most prospective Sectors in the economy of Darjeeling. Extensive growth of pineapple, orange and other fruits in this district has made the area ideal for establishment of food processing units. A Ginger Oleo—resin Plant and Cardamom Oil Unit would also be a profitable venture. Tea and Timber occupy an important position on economy.

Tea is the oldest and most established industry in Darjeeling. Tea is famous all over the world for its high quality and flavour. It has tremendous export potential. Instant tea is the new product fast emerging in this industry which has tremendous future promise. There is also a trend on the part of the small farmers to bring their land under tea cultivation and sell the tea leaves to the manufacturing units. 12 such new tea gardens up to the area of 20 acres in the process of getting registered in the district. Ancillary industries of tea cultivation for manufacturing such items as tea garden tools and tea-chest plywood may also be established. Timber resource may be used for wood furniture, plywood veneer, sawmill, blackboard, dense jute and wood particleboard etc. Large quantities of bamboo and cane is available in the forests of Darjeeling district which affords an invaluable opportunity for the development of art and craft based on them which have tremendous market in view of huge and rapidly increasing tourist traffic.

Floriculture, horticulture and agro-processing have vast untapped potential. Pineapple, oranges and tomato etc. are produced in sufficiently large quantities justifying setting up of integrated plant for their processing to produce squash, marmalade, sauce, vinegar, juice etc. Various other industries using by –products/ wastes can also be setup e.g. cloth-weaving from pineapple fibre. These industries are not only eco-friendly but also generate substantial employment both in agricultural and industrial sector.

A number of industries based on medicinal plants may come up for producing products like emetine, reserpine, copolanine, staramonium, becognin, ephedrine and camphor oil.Herbal medicines may be produced on large scale in joint sector using the medicinal plants in association with cinchona plantation authorities Huge animal resources may also be exploited for projects like cattle feed and poultry feed, cattle licks, milk sachet, processing of hides and skin etc.

Specific attention should also be given to possibility of starting of rubber plantation on a large-scale as weather is ideally suited for this activity. It is a highly remunerative industry and generates a lot of employment. Setting up of a rubber unit will also encourage small farmers in its surrounding areas to grow rubber trees as they will find ready market for their produce. Sericulture is another area of activity, which can yield heavy benefits both to the entrepreneurs and the farmers.


Demand based


The district of Darjeeling especially its Siliguri Belt, being a focal point in the geo-economic structure of North Bengal also enjoys ideal advantages as regards the setting up of an array of consumer goods industry. Potentialities may be noted for a number of food items like bakery products, confectionery items, biscuits, Sport goods, agarbatti, distilled water, washing soaps, chalk pencils, digital clock and chlorine tablets etc. would enjoy ready markets in North Bengal. These apart, other consumer items like stainless utensils, leather shoes, ready-made garments, tin containers for packing, plastic articles, nuts and bolts, kitchen wares, glass articles and electrical accessories all have tremendous market prospects in the region. Special attention needs to be given to thetourism and tourism based industries like fast-food joints, water sports, ropeways, rock climbing etc. in cooperation with Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and Forest Department.

Water supply


The main water source for the rivers of the district is the snowmelt from the Himalayas and hence, there is plenty of water on their beds throughout the year. Main water channels in this area are Teesta, Jaldhaka and Mahananda. Other important rivers include Leesh, Geesh and Chel to the east of Teesta and Mahananda, Balason and Mechi to the West of it. This river network provides sufficilent surface water all over the district. Underground water in huge quantities is also readily available within a maximum depth of 10-15 ft. in the plains. As far as quality of water is concerned river water is soft but underground water has little hardness.

Transport


Siliguri is well connected by road, rail and air. Siliguri has developed as an important node for all surface communication systems of this region. Siliguri is linked to the other parts of India and the neighbouring Himalayan Kingdoms by NH-31, N.H. 31-A, NH-55, Lateral Road and a number of major state highways (S.H. 12, 12A. All the three types of railway links viz. broad gauge meter gauge and narrow gauge connect the Siliguri with National Capital and a large number of other state Capital and Darjeeling Hill Station. Siliguri is also connected by Air-links from Bagdogra with the national capital and a number of other state capitals by daily services.

Power


Siliguri and its surroundings has surplus power served by (at least) one 132/33/11 KV, one 132/33 KV substation, six 33/11KV substation and one 66/11 KV substation. Further two 132/333 KV and one 220/132/33 KV substation is already under process to meet the future demand of this area.

Telecommunication


All type of modern telecommunication facilities and postal services are available at Siliguri.

Tax benefits


Siliguri falls partly in Darjeeling District and partly in Jalpaiguri District. In Jalpaiguri there will be full Income Tax exemption for Seven Years.

Projects will be set up in Siliguri, will be also eligible for Sales Tax concession like deferred payment of Sales Tax for 15 years subject to 175% ceiling in terms of Gross value of Fixed Capital Assets of the Project or alternatively, remission of Sales Tax for 13 years subject to 150% ceiling in terms of Gross value of Fixed Capital Assets of the Project.

Social infrastructure


SJDA has taken up many new housing development projects, where small plots and bulk plots will be available on lease. There are many reputed schools and colleges in Siliguri, like Don-Bosco, St. Josheph, Lincolns, St Xaviers, Siliguri College, etc. One Engineering College and one Polytechnic College are functioning here in Siliguri. Siliguri has abundant skilled and semiskilled manpower.

Well developed Health and Medicare facilities are available, including North Bengal Medical College, Sub divisional Hospital and many private clinics, nursing homes and hospitals in Siliguri. There are many tourists' spots for outing within tow hour's journey. There are plenty number of Hotels and restaurants for ever increasing tourists, businessmen, and traders.