Among the many cities in India, Chennai ranks as amongst the most prosperous metropolis in India and that is due in no small part to Oragadam, the fastest growing suburban area of Chennai. It has now become the hottest industry hub in recent years. Though it may be small in size, this area is touted as South Asia’s biggest automobile hub thanks to more than 22 Fortune 500 companies setting up shop.
The area for a long time was a relative unknown, being a sleepy little hamlet found 56km Southwest of Chennai. There were only two industries around the area and it is only in recent years that the district had witnessed this phenomenal growth in terms of industries, residential real estate and social infrastructure. One reason for the districts sudden rise was due to SIPCOT’s industrial park, developed from 2006 to 2010. This allowed industrial behemoths like Komatsu, Renault-Nissan, Nokia, Samsung and Apollo Tyres to set down new roots. With this enriching and developing the economy, other industries like Royal Enfield, Daimler, Essar Steel and GE Bayer also set up manufacturing units. This was to be used as a base so that the companies could develop their international markets and meet the demands of the fast growing Indian market. During this period, there were a number of banks and hotels emerging in the region to lend support to both the commerce and professionals that came to work in the region.
In 2008 the Tamil Nadu Road Infrastructure Development Corp. flagged off road widening efforts for SH 57 and the Wallajabad Road then installed grade separators at the intersection point of the town roads in the middle of the Oragadam Corridor. At the moment, rail connectivity to the suburb is amped up by a new railway line set to appear between Avadi and Sriperumbudur with a station for Oragadam. Another important effort is the construction of a rail hub at Walajabad, catering to all the industries in the Oragadam corridor. They will also provide additional connectivity between the Grand Trunk Road and the Grand Western Trunk Road. TNRIDC has begun widening the 16-km stretch between Oragadam and Walajabad into a six lane highway. The Vandalur-Walajabad road handles about 40,000 vehicles a day, most of which are heavy vehicles like trucks and multi axle vehicles. Widening the road would ease vehicular movement. All of this means that the district is set up to give a huge impetus to the industrial hub, setting the next stage of development.
Between the Poonamallee and Sriperumbudur along the Chennai-Bengaluru Nation Highway is the country’s busiest stretch of road. This situation however will improve thanks to the six-lane elevated expressway project. The project aimed decongesting the NH-48 has been on paper for several years and is nearing the date of its commencement. The elevated project is an extension of the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, according to NHAI officials. Additionally, the elevated express highway will link Chennai Port to Sriperumbudur through the 42 km elevated corridor after the 18.3 Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated expressway project is completed.
Now there are many industries springing up in response to development, there are also an equal number of temples have appeared. Places of worship like the Madhurapuri Ashram, the Vishwarooba Narasimmar Temple, Vallakottai Murugan temple, Sri Nallinakesvarar temple etc are located in and around the evolving town.
With the industries popping up faster than you can count, many professionals are looking for homes in the region, thus creating a brand new avenue for development. The real estate industry has also seen interest grow in the area over the past few years, leading to the construction of many gated communities, plots, apartments and independent houses meant to suit all kinds of budgets. In response to this, a number of schools and colleges like the Xavier institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, the Little Flower Hr. Sec. School, the Montfort CBSE School, Temple Green Vidyashram, Sri Krishna Engineering College and Agathiya Matriculation Higher Secondary School are being set up around the town, allowing families the opportunity to send their children to a nearby school. Recently, S. Ramadoss has told the press that a second airport could be set up at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur as land was available in both areas. This was a result of the number of domestic passengers in Chennai had gone up by 10 percent and cargo had gone up by thirteen percent and demands are expected to go up further. Hence the Government should consider whether the existing airport should be expanded or a new airport set up as a long term strategy.
As development continues at a staggering pace, it may be safe to say that Oragadam could easily become the Largest Industrial Hub in the world. All of this means that the once quiet hamlet town is now poised to write another chapter in the development to becoming South West Chennai’s most important industrial hub.