Published On : Sat, Dec 7th, 2019

MIHAN – A Dream that died a long time ago but the ghost lives on…

I took a guest from Pune on his first visit to MIHAN last evening .

” I have heard of this place close to the Nagpur airport where a tiger has been moving around” said my cousin. ” What is this place? Why is it called MIHAN?” He asked.

After having written half a dozen articles on it – and getting legal notices of Rs.5 crores for defamation against 2 of them! – I still have to struggle to think what the full form of MIHAN is!

Multi modal cargo Hub at Nagpur airport…I finally remember.

I am flooded with all the spiel we were given: 200 international flights will halt at Nagpur for refueling and repair and maintenance. Boeing is investing in a state of the Art MRO for this purpose. The international tourists these planes will bring will go in for wild life and Tiger tourism. Also health care at very attractive price. John Hopkins of USA will invest in a big teaching hospital in the area in partnership with an Indian hospital.

Then they also added a SEZ to the area. We were supposed to be the latest destination of for IT industries…with the potential to become bigger than Hyderabad and Pune!!!

Dreams dreams dreams…we were sold them by the tons.

” If you buy land here it will double in price in 6 years”. ” Lakhs of our youth will be employed here – we need as many Engineering colleges as possible to fulfill the demand.”

To date, Industries and offices of MIHAN have at the most employed 15000 local manpower.

Most of their trained Engineers come from Hyderabad or elsewhere.

Even the promise of Patanjali Food park seems to be a non starter.

If you visit MIHAN of an evening now, like we did, you find few islands of light and activity
In a vast terrain of barren grass lands. Where the shrub forests , which were cleared for the Sez have begun creeping back to reclaim what was theirs. In their wake comes wild life. Even a tiger! The tiger seems to be the only one who has kept up the promise of making Nagpur the Tiger capital of India! ( One leopard has even strayed into Nagpur just behind a well known Women’s college.)

But just imagine the security concerns techies and others brave enough to work in the few companies there like Tata, HCL, Tral etc. We know of companies that had occupied the W building in MIHAN but have moved out in a few months only.

My cousin had a lot of questions after our visit.

” Why did industries not come? You have beautiful roads …even a metro station…why does it still look like a ghost town?”

What can I tell him? Even we are asking the same questions !

Sunita Mudaliar