Locational and comparative advantages in Rajkot
Located on the banks of the Aji and Nyari rivers, Rajkot is situated 245 km away from Gandhinagar, the state’s capital. Figuratively, this seems to have distanced this city of extremely talented craftsmen from the state’s political ironwill, affecting the city’s ease of doing business. From Mumbai, through which most of its international business still happens, Rajkot is 683 kilometre away by road.
The city has a huge potential for export and import businesses owing to the proximity of the Gulf of Kutch in the north, which hosts the all-weather port of Navlakhi on one end and the port of Mandavi on the other. The Gulf also has one major port, the Kandla, which enables international ferrying.
Rajkot has its own airport that provides air connectivity with Mumbai and Delhi. However, travelling to any other major cities of the country, or offshore, has to be via Mumbai.
The Alang shipyards that recycle almost half of the world’s salvaged ships are located 50 kilometres southeast of Bhavnagar, on the Gulf of Khambat. It offers a tremendous advantage for metal and engineering products manufacturers in the region by providing scrap metal ingredients at very effective costs.
Infrastructure and connectivity
Infrastructure is something most of the Rajkot residents and manufacturers are quite depressed about. It’s only very recently that the city got its double freighted railway tracks, connecting it to Surendranagar, a neighbouring manufacturing region.
The airport is a small one and provides connectivity to Mumbai at a very high cost. It is with great difficulty and after mammoth efforts, a flight to Delhi has been started. It is not cost effective inform the leaders of the industrial associations. The Vice President of the Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Shivlalbhai L Patel says, “If we travel to Delhi or Mumbai from Ahmedabad, the ticket costs something around Rs 3000, but from Rajkot, Jet Airways exercises a monopoly and charges anything between Rs 8,000 – 15,0000.”
The highways are nothing much to talk about but the major problems around roads lie within the city – even the industrial estates are not fortunate enough to tackle this problem effectively.
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