Friday, May 28, 2010

No land in Bangalore, govt tells investors

No land in Bangalore, govt tells investors
P M Raghunandan, Bangalore, May 27, DHNS:

Planning investments in Karnataka? Not anywhere in and around Bangalore. Or, at least, this is what the State government has of late been telling investors, especially those in the manufacturing sector. Reason? The high land price.

Except for a few acres that is acquired or identified for acquisition long ago, the government does not have land in Bangalore Urban and Bangalore Rural districts to offer it to investors. And it also has no plans to acquire any either in the coming days.

As a result, the government has reserved the two districts for only high-end IT and aerospace sectors. “The land prices in the two districts are too high for acquisition. Moreover, there is hardly any land available here. So, we have decided to allow only for two sectors — high-end IT and aerospace,” V P Baligar, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce said.

Illustrating his statement, he said the government was paying a whopping Rs 70 lakh an acre as compensation in Devanahalli for the proposed Devanahalli Industrial Park, the highest ever compensation given for land acquisition by the government.

Currently, the government has just 2,321 acres in Bangalore Urban, while in Bangalore Rural, it has 3,011 acres, mostly in Devanahalli. The government, therefore, is hard-selling Tier-II cities and small towns close to Bangalore — Tumkur and Ramanagara for fresh investments.

That is also the reason for the Department of Industries and Commerce’s land acquisition spree in these cities and towns. The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has acquired 12,205 acres in Ramanagara alone, the highest among districts, for creating a land bank. It is followed by Belgaum with 10,842 acres, Bijapur 9,926, Dharwad 9,347, Tumkur 8,363 and Bellary 6,151 acres.

Baligar said investors keen on land close to the State capital were being persuaded to opt for nearest towns like Sira, Kunigal in Tumkur district, Bangarpet, Malur, Srinivasapur in Kolar district and Ramanagara, where land is cheaper. “With good road and railway connectivity, these towns are as good as Bangalore for investors,” he explained.

The government aims at having a total of 1,00,861 acres in the land bank exclusively for industries. Of that lot, 87,005.06 acres is private land and 13,856.09 acres belongs to the government. The KIADB has so far acquired 12,379.14 acres, issued preliminary notification for acquiring 46,734.03. It is yet to initiate the process to acquire41,747.38 acre across almost all districts.

It is in Ramanagara the government has acquired largest extent of private farm land (12,250 acre) for the land bank. The government is bound to hardsell Karnataka at the proposed Global Investors Meet next month. But if prospective investors are looking for land in and around the Capital to put up their projects, then they are in for disappointment.


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