WB: Power Plant Project stalled awaiting new land policy

Prasoon Mukherjee-controlled Universal Success Enterprises Ltd’s proposed power plant has been hobbled by the government’s decision to draft a policy. Mukherjee, who was recently offered land at Raghunathpur in Purulia district for setting up a power plant, has always been able to get files cleared by the state government quickly. His project, which envisages an investment of Rs.12,450 crore, has been stalled, said state government officials, who did not want to be named. A logistics hub proposed by a car maker and a Rs.1,000-crore factory for manufacturing high-end sanitaryware are among several other industrial projects that have been delayed by the land policy, said the state government officials cited above. The aim is to create a transparent policy for distribution of land for industrial projects, government officers said. Because the erstwhile Left Front government had no such policy, several officers are now being hauled up for executive decisions relating to allotment of land for industrial and real projects. Hence, a committee of secretaries has been formed to draft the said policy on the lines of the ruling Trinamool Congress party’s stand on land usage. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who seized power from the Left Front riding on a mass movement against farmland acquisition, made it clear within months of forming the government that she would not snatch land from private possession. This has already resulted in several industrial groups pulling the plug on proposed manufacturing facilities in West Bengal. Because of fragmented landholding in the state, it is difficult for companies to acquire land on their own. The proposed policy will govern the distribution of land already owned by...

TS: Hyderabad Point Indu SEZ Project

Promoters of M/s Indu Projects Ltd and M/s Lepakshi Knowledge Hub Private Ltd, who procured 10,000 acres of land (8,844 acres in Anantapur and 250 acres in Shamshabad) at cheap rates from the YS Rajasekhara Reddy government for an IT SEZ and a knowledge hub, is still lying unused, the CBI said in its status report. These details were part of the report the CBI gave to the Supreme Court while opposing the bail plea of Nimmagadda Prasad, an accused in the Vanpic case, who was also found on the board of Indu Projects which was awarded many projects/contracts by the government of Andhra Pradesh between 2004 and 2009. The status report also narrated the way Indu got a 250 acre IT SEZ at Samshabad, using which the promoter of this firm availed Rs 175 crore bank loan without creating any infrastructure or jobs in the proposed SEZ. Citing the contents of the status report, the bench said: “It is also highlighted that files were processed despite serious objections by the finance department about the financial implications of the proposed concessions proposed on the state exchequer, company’s financial standing; lack of credibility in terms of their past experience of the fledging company incorporated in July, 2008.” While allotting 250 acres of prime land at Shamshabad, near new International Airport of Hyderabad, several exemptions such as stamp duty and registration expenses, subsidized power, all external infrastructures up to the boundary of SEZ, tax exemptions/holiday were provided under ICT Policy and SEZ Act, 2005. Land worth about Rs 1 crore per acre was given at a price of Rs 20 lakh...

GJ: Dahej Speciality chemicals Project

The Board of Directors of SRF Ltd, a multi-business entity engaged in the manufacture of chemical based industrial intermediates, has approved a proposal to set up a second multi-purpose plant for creating additional manufacturing capacity for specialty chemicals at SRF’s chemical complex in Dahej, Gujarat, at an aggregated cost of Rs 140 crore. When completed, the project will enable the company to cater to the increasing demand for specialty chemicals. As part of its ongoing capex programme, SRF commissioned 10 projects worth more than Rs 650 crore during the year. SRF commissioned a specialty chemicals plant, built with an investment of Rs 52 crore, on April 30, 2014, at its chemical complex in Dahej. Similarly, in March 2014, SRF Ltd commissioned five projects – captive power plant (15 MW), HFC-134a/125 plant (12500 TPA), AHF plant (20000 TPA), specialty chemical plant (800 TPA), and specialty chemicals plant for agrochemical industry (500 TPA) – at Dahej. Meanwhile, SRF Ltd has reported an increase of 8% in its net sales at Rs 884 crore for the last quarter of 2013-14 over the corresponding period last year. Impacted by the discontinuation of income from Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), the company’s net profit after tax (PAT) declined from Rs 72 crore reported a year ago to Rs 53 crore, a reduction of 26%, during January-March 2014. For the fiscal ended March 31, 2014, the company reported 6% growth in its consolidated net sales at Rs 3993 crore as against Rs 3769 crore recorded previous year. The consolidated net profit after tax (PAT) of SRF declined by 36%, from Rs 253 crore recorded last year...

MH: Mumbai Sea Rock Hotel Redevelopment Project

Five years after the Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) acquired the landmark Sea Rock Hotel in Mumbai’s western suburb of Bandra, its plan to redevelop the asset and integrate it with the nearby Taj Land’s End still remains on paper. The project, said chairman Cyrus Mistry at IHCL’s 113th annual shareholders’ meeting, has been delayed because of pending municipal approvals. IHCL had paid a Rs 680 crore to acquire the erstwhile Sea Rock property and the redevelopment work was supposed to start in 2010. However, the project has been stuck due to the extra floor space index (FSI) allocation dispute. Typically, it takes three years to build a luxury hotel before it is thrown open to guests. But it seems that patrons will have to wait a little...

GJ: Kalol Urea And Ammonia Project

Fertilizer cooperative, the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) continues to face delay in expansion of its urea making facility at Kalol in North Gujarat. As the officials maintained, non-availability of natural gas is one of the reasons causing delay in expansion project. IFFCO is planning to set up a urea plant at Kalol with an annual capacity of 1.4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), which was estimated to cost over Rs 4500 crore. “There are several issues affecting expansion project. One of them is availability of natural gas. We are not getting adequate quantity of gas for the additional capacity. So, presently we are not going ahead with the expansion. However, the expansion plan is not scrapped either,” said a source at IFFCO’s Kalol unit requesting anonymity. It has been over three years, that the farmers’ cooperative has been awaiting natural gas supplies from KG-basin to start the work at its urea making facility in Kalol. Last year in August, IFFCO chairman, N P Patel, had informed that due to non-allocation of gas, the expansion was stalled and the delay in allocation was causing the project costs to rise. However, IFFCO officials maintained that the Kalol unit continues to get sufficient quantity of natural gas for its present requirements. “The current production operations are going smooth and there are no issues with regards to natural gas allocation. Even we have been allowed to purchase gas at spot rates, but we are able to manage in the present allocation,” said the IFFCO official at Kalol. Currently, IFFCO produces ammonia and urea at the Kalol unit and consumers over a...

AP: Hotel project stalls NIO research lab

A land row brewing between a central government-run research institute and private hotel project has red-flagged the construction of a national laboratory on a 3.25-acre piece land near the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road. Though the land for the under-construction hilltop resort, Bay Park Hotels and Resorts, was leased out for 33 years to private parties, none of the officials of the government departments concerned are able to name the hotel’s owners and seem unaware of the fact that a National Institute of Oceanography’s (NIO) lab is supposed to come up at the foothills. In December 2013, CSIR-NIO, Vizag, secured the CRZ (coastal regulation zone) clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) for establishing an ocean research laboratory at Yendada village, which was sanctioned in 2006. But little did the NIO authorities know that the Rs 20 crore investment world-class lab would fail to take off due to stiff opposition from the upcoming hotel to construct an approach road to the lab site. Elaborating on the issue, NIO-Vizag chief scientist V S N Murty, said, “There was a 40-ft road, through which the Indian Navy used to access its firing range, but they no longer use it. We had 0.75 acres land adjacent to this road, where we decided to construct the entrance to the lab. But in December 2013, we found the road dug up by private builders and pipelines supplying water to the hilltop hotel passing through our land. “Surprisingly, government officials claim they know nothing about the owner of the high-end resort. While APTDC officials maintained the project belongs to some private parties or a...