The shortage of staff and awesome burden of work on the present employees makes it difficult for them to keep a watch on allotted industrial lands. Now, these “watch less” land holders have started sale-purchase business of MIDC land, of course, hand in glow with concerned MIDC officials. However, irony of this entire eerie episode is the stand taken by MIDC: “We have allotted the lands, and now, our only concern is rent.”
The fact that Vidarbha region continues to be pushed to the cauldron of backwardness at the powerful hands of Western Maharashtra leaders is nothing new. In fact, it is not at all the news. The barren, nonproductive state of affairs run in MIDC is not giving birth to new industries worth mentioning is the news. The past decade has not seen any development activity in MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) areas the roof top claims notwithstanding. On the contrary, a race is on to grab the lands meant for setting up industrial units at cheaper rates for misuse or other purposes. The land mafia has fixed their eyes on MIDC lands or say, already gobbled up at many areas.
In Nagpur, the office of MIDC’s East Vidarbha is based in Civil Lines. The office handles the industrial activities of Reserved Industrial Zone in the districts of Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. The MIDC office has been given the responsibility of industrial land allotment, required facilities, and overseeing of other factors minutely apart from recovery of lease rent. Although land allotment is done by Mumbai-based MIDC Headquarters on the direct orders of Industry Ministry, Nagpur office of MIDC plays a crucial role in the process.
However, the present nonproductive industrial position can squarely be attributed to the fact that 30 posts were sanctioned in the year 2000 for running the affairs of Nagpur MIDC office. Today, although the scope of development has increased manifold, leave alone increasing the posts, 12 posts are vacant. And there is no visible effort to fill up the posts. The net result of this cold attitude is that the staff is finding it difficult to keep a tab on proper use of industrial land in all the six districts. The situation has come to such a pass that despite allotment of industrial land, questions are being raised over its lawful use.
A few years back, receiving an industrial land used to be a mountainous task. After application, it would take years for allotment of land or sometimes, no land was allotted. But once the land was allotted, it was mandatory to start construction for setting up industrial unit within 18 months. Failure to do so attracted Government wrath and heavy fines, too. But now, the situation has changed. The land is allotted within 3-4 months once interviews are held. The time limit for construction has also been extended and fixed for 5 years. The easy allotment, however, has raised its ugly side-effects. The experts in Department advise the allottees to grab whatever piece of land they have been allotted and if they are not interested in setting up industrial units, sell the land in five years or even earlier to interested buyers in black. Even otherwise, there is shortage of land in industrial areas. Whoever gets the land, he or she has to pay nominal lease charges apart from receiving other facilities.
The prevailing scenario in MIDC would force Vidarbha people boil with anger. The MIDC Administration now-a-days sheds crocodile tears whenever an entrepreneur demands land for industrial unit. The pet and teary-eyed reply is: All plots of land have been allotted. But shockingly, no industry is visibly on almost all lands specifically reserved for industrial units. Dozens of prime plots of land nearby State Highways are being acquired for opening ware houses and showrooms in connivance with the MIDC officials. This “encroachment” is invariably not achieving the goals of MIDC as the land is in possession of top businessmen or mafia. However, the Nagpur MIDC stand over this shady affair is that the allotment of land is done by Mumbai-based MIDC Headquarters. But the fact that if the allottees do not start construction within time limit the land can be taken back after giving three notices is being overlooked. The only hurdle in this action is lengthy court process. And the “encroachers” take advantage of this loophole and get extensions.
The shortage of staff and awesome burden of work on the present employees makes it difficult for them to keep a watch on allotted industrial lands. Now, these “watch less” land holders have started sale-purchase business of MIDC land, of course, hand in glow with concerned MIDC officials. However, irony of this entire eerie episode is the stand taken by MIDC: “We have allotted the lands, and now, our only concern is rent.” Real irony.
Land available and will be available:
At present, there is no land available in Butibori and Hingna areas. Work of Extension-2 is going on in Butibori and once the work is complete, land will be allotted in accordance with the waiting list. Under Chandrapur MIDC area, cheap land is available that could be acquired at the rate of Rs 17-20 sq ft. In Umred, land would be available in big proportions within 4-5 months. However, the land seized in Naxal-hit Gadchiroli has been kept by Home Ministry itself for its use only. But here also some dirty deals take place. The seized lands are transferred to other seekers at the specific and high rates in accordance with the wishes of MIDC officials.
No surprising, industries not taking birth following barren and nonproductive state of affairs being run in MIDC, the nodal agency for industrial development in Vidarbha.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha(rajeev.nagpurto