Saturday, July 24, 2010

Walk to work is going to be a dream come true for industrial workers

Walk to work is going to be a dream come true for industrial workers

Greater Peenya will have modern industrial estates and townships offering amenities as well as affordable housing units for the large work force

PK Surendran Bangalore

Walk to work is a catchline for many housing units in Bangalore's high-end areas. This is going to be a reality in Peenya and it will be affordable. The Greater Peenya Industrial Estate will be an integrated township with residential facilities for workers where they can stay close to their workplace.
If what is proposed is translated into reality, Bangalore's south-west will have the most-modern industrial estates and townships a la swanky IT hubs that have so far drawn an envious glance from traditional industries.
The 400-acre Nelamangala industrial estate together with 250 acres of Ganapathyhalli near Kamakshipalya will have everything to make their inhabitants comfortable. Peenya industrial area (PIA), by far the largest in Asia sprawled over 1500 acres enveloping 4500 units, will look a poor cousin when the two new generation industrial areas come up in an year's time, officials and industrialists say. The Greater Peenya will have 3000 sq ft, 5000 sq ft and 10,000 sq ft units.
Industry captains point out that the trendy industrial areas are the result of four to five years of constant lobbying for another industrial area as Peenya is chocking and has little scope for expansion.
To facilitate land acquisition for this mega industrial estate, the government will levy only 5% service tax on the value of land instead of 12%.
"Peenya was set up in 1970, a great step forward at that time. But the city remained a Garden City till early 1990's and the manufacturing activity picked up in the late nineties. With labour unrest and communal problems in other states, industrial units began to relocate to Peenya since 2000 and the need for expansion is felt now," says SM Hussain, president of Peenya Industrial Association.
Hussain feels that the new industrial estate will make Karnataka the machine tool hub of India with over 60% of India's machine tools manufactured in Peenya and Greater Peenya.
But the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) holds a slightly different view. Federation president Srinivasa Murthy says, "The Peenya extension is an act of 'penance' of the government that has been enamoured with sunrise industries all these years."
"We welcome the new age industrial areas and hope they will make up for the loss of time," says Murthy.
Meanwhile, land acquirement in Nelamangala, to be called Greater Peenya, just 15km from Peenya on the National Highway 4, is in progress at the instance of Karnataka State Industrial Development Board (KSIDB). About 600 applicants have already queued up, says MC Dinesh, member director board of Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC).
Major industries in the new-era industrial areas will be auto-components and machineries, both green industries. There are no chemical or foundry units planned.
With the benefit of hindsight and experiences of Peenya, the new industrial hubs will have the following edges: A dedicated feeder line; modern residential township complete with shopping mall, cinema and health centres; access to railway (Bangalore-Pune line passes beside) and NH 4 and proximity to Dobbspet, the large scale industrial hub.


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