Nagpur: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Nagpur Private Limited (PFHPNPL), which was allotted a huge land at a throwaway price for setting up an agro-processing facility at Nagpur’s MIHAN area, is yet to start production even four years after the contract was awarded in 2016. Patanjali was awarded the tender by the then BJP-led government for the agro-processing project in the MIHAN area within 18 months. Land in the area was made available at a 75% discount, according to a report in Times of India daily.
The TOI report further says that according to the agreement signed in March 2017, the developer had to begin production within 18 months (excluding the monsoon period). Not only is the Patanjali project yet to begin production, the first phase of the project has now been granted an extension till December 31 by the MVA Government. The approvals were granted by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) Board headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The price of 230 acres of MADC land, where the project was to come up, was reduced from Rs 1 crore to Rs 25 lakh per acre and given at Rs 58.6 crores on a 66-year lease.
“This was extensively discussed in the board meeting, and it unanimously granted approval for the extension on the condition that it start production by then,” said MADC MD Deepak Kapoor. MADC had sent queries to the company last year, regarding the status of the project. “They said their plans got affected by the pandemic. This has happened to several companies in MIHAN,” said Kapoor. They also said that they were in the process of arranging finances from several banks,” he added.
Patanjali informed MADC that they had secured loans from a few banks and that they had appointed a new General Manager for the project. Machinery had also been moved onto the site and cleaning operations were on, officials said. Kapoor informed the MADC board that PFHPNPL had already invested Rs 500 crore from its proposed investment of Rs 1,500. He also said that 70-80% of the project work for the first phase was already complete, the TOI report said.
Kapoor said that after Rs 500 crore has been invested, cancelling the project would serve no purpose. They are regularly getting updates on the progress.
The Patanjali project grabbed the headlines as it was allegedly allotted land at cheaper rates of Rs 25.50 lakh per acre. It was also promised by the management of the Patanjali Food Park that the construction work would be completed within six months and in another 18 months, the production would start thereby offering employment to a large number of jobless people.
But as of now, the ambitious Patanjali Ayurved’s Food Park at MIHAN is in limbo.