Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Multi-crore industry projects put in a limbo

Multi-crore industry projects put in a limbo
The Times of India

Bangalore: Over 991 projects, 380 companies, 12,000 acres of land and Rs 1.08 lakh crore investment. All these are impacted by one high court order that slams the brakes on Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board’s (KIADB) land acquisition process.
Monday’s court order directing
the KIADB to maintain a status quo on land acquisition leaves potential investors in limbo. Tata Consultancy, Wipro, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals and ITC, to name a few, just cannot proceed with their projects.
The KIADB has been looking at 12,000 acres in Bangalore and has issued the final notification for acquisition in Harohalli, Dobbespet, Malur, Narsapur, Tumkur and Bagalur areas to allot land for industrial projects cleared by the state-level single window clearance.
The backlog goes back to two years and the KIADB is under severe pressure as some companies with an international presence are actively trying to get land allotted as quickly as possible.
A KIADB source told The Times of India: “We have proposed to acquire around 15,000 acres as Karnataka Udyog Mitra has cleared over 700 projects in the last two years for Bangalore alone.”
“We are acquiring land in a phased manner. We’ll furnish all the details to the court as our report is getting ready,’’ the source further added.
The court has directed KIADB not to acquire any more land or allot acquired land until further orders.
The high court took it to task for the manner in which it had treated an earlier order of January 10, which had sought to know if there was an acquisition master plan.
The court also wanted details on the quantum of land acquired in Bangalore Urban and Rural districts and whether it was genuinely being used by industries.
A KIADB source said, “The interim master plan has not yet been approved by the state government, but the land acquisition process of KIADB started an year ago. However, we have ensured that the usage does not violate the stipulated norms.’’
The single-window clearance board of Udyog Mitra and state highlevel committee headed by the chief minister have cleared 991 projects with an investment of Rs 1.08 lakh crore between February 2006 and 2007.
The committee had also sought the KIADB to acquire 18,155 acres in the state for projects in Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Gulbarga. While the interim order has stalled acquisition, the prospective investors now have to wait.
Approved projects: 991 from Feb 2006-2007
Investments: Rs 1.08 lakh crore
Employment: 17.76 lakh
Land required: 12,000 acres in Bangalore; 18,155 acres in Karnataka


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