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...

TS: Vikarabad Satellite Township Project

With uncertainty over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, especially the fate of Hyderabad city, the Union urban development ministry has put the Vikarabad satellite township project on hold. Though the project got in-principle approval from the Centre and Planning Commission four months ago and sanction of Rs 148 crore for first phase works, funds were not released. As a result, the municipality has not called for tenders for the works so far. Officials said funds are likely to be released only after there is some clarity on the division of the state. Sources said Vikarabad, which is about 60 km from Hyderabad, has been chosen for development as satellite township because of its proximity to the city. As big cities were facing traffic congestion woes, the Centre has decided to develop some municipalities, which have above one lakh population, as satellite townships. Eight projects were sanctioned in the country and Vikarabad was selected due to its proximity to Hyderabad. Though Bheemili municipality was also proposed for the satellite township, it was rejected as the municipality population was only 55,000. Officials said the main idea behind the satellite township concept was to develop infrastructure and housing in surrounding areas of congested cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. The facilities would be provided so that people should be able to commute to the city from the township daily to attend their offices and carry out their routine works and go back to the township. Facilities like water supply, drainage, solid waste management, health and sanitation, roads and housing infrastructure would be provided to meet a population of five lakh...

HP: Waknaghat IT Park Project

Despite an advantageous salubrious pollution free climate with abundance of power, Himachal has failed to become a hub for IT (Information Technology) industry and is struggling to set up its first IT Park, something which has been on the drawing board for years. Much is being made out from about withdrawing of excise exemptions and curtailing of the industrial package but while the opportunity was there, nothing was done to attract IT industry into the state, says Subhash Sharma, a former employee of the IT department. After trying for years to set up an IT Park, the red-tapism involved was simply exasperating and I simply left, he said. After having failed to attract any worthwhile investors for an expression of interest invited to set up 5 IT parks in March, 2006, the government efforts attempt to set up at least one of them under the private public partnership (PPP) mode has not fared any better. Back in 2006, IT parks were proposed at Dalhousie, Nalagarh, Kangra, Raja Ka Bagh (Nagari) and Waknaghat. Bids were invited for setting up an IT park-cum-township on a 63 acres land piece at Waknaghat near Solan in September, 2009 and closed in January after the last date was extended because of poor response from developers. Since then no headway has been made on the prestigious project, disclosed an IT department...

GJ: DMIC project, NA tag for land stalled

The state government has ‘unofficially’ halted the process of clearing all land seeking non-agriculture (NA) certification in the districts of Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, for a month at least. This is on account of the detailed development plan under preparation for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Sources in the government inform that the DMIC includes 150 km on both the sides. This area will require fine planning, primarily by the DMIC officials, to identify which industry will be placed where and therefore, the land use pattern around it will be decided accordingly. “Most of the current plansare likely to be altered. For instance, if a certain patch of land is given permission for commercial use, it would then be a cumbersome process to alter the given permission, if that land is required for public use for development activity.” “The developers’ plans would also go awry. So it has been decided to keep on hold the NA permissions for now, till plans are clear,” a source close to the developments said. Collectors of the three districts have been instructed accordingly. “Though there will be no official communication on these lines, the process will be delayed under one pretext or the other,” an official said. DMIC enters Gujarat near Palanpur and passes through Mehsana-Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Bharuch-Surat and then moves into Maharashtra. Dholera SIR and port city is being developed on a massive scale to attract international investments in the region. Many logistics parks have been planned on the corridor. “The buzz is clearly out about the development activities but there is no clarity of exact plans. Land is changing hands thick and fast....