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MIDC to act tough on idle land owners in Butibori

Our Regional Bureau  |  Mumbai/ Nagpur 

In a significant development, the Nagpur Regional Office of the (MIDC) has decided to act tough with industrialists who have taken plots at the five-star Butibori industrial area but not taken any steps to set up their planned enterprise. MIDC has drawn up a list of 100 plot holders against whom action is being taken.
Of these, the registration of 40 plots has already been cancelled, while that of the remaining 60 is in the process. It is for the first time since 1992 that the MIDC has taken collective action against such entrepreneurs.
Sources said that the MIDC had issued showcause notices to 115 entrepreneurs who had not started any activity on their plots for the last five years. Of them, 15 entrepreneurs who have taken effective steps and promised to start production were given exemption.
The remaining 100 have been shortlisted by the MIDC for cancellation of ownership. Those plots whose registrations are being cancelled, range from 5,000-15,000 sq ft. As per the norms of the corporation, an entrepreneur has to construct and start production on the plot within five years of purchasing the plot.
In 1992, MIDC had taken over a 2,400-hectare land in Butibori to develop it as an industrial area. Of the total land, 1,200 hectares is plotable area where 1,400 plots were developed. Some 250 hectares were reserved for the five-star industrial estate. The current rates of land in the five-star area are Rs 12.50 per sq ft while that outside it is Rs 10 per square feet.
Vice-president of Butibori Manufacturers Association (BMA), said that genuine investors should be given plots and not those who first block it for several years and then proceed to sell it through various means.
He suggested that the distribution of plots be done in consultation with representatives of the BMA and MIDC. The Industries Department should not take the decision to allot plots in isolation, he said.
MIDC has been assigned the work of acquiring and developing land for industrial purpose. However, the powers to distribute plots have been given to the Industries Department under the "Single Window" scheme introduced by the state government.
The scheme has been introduced to help entrepreneurs get basic facilities such as registration of plots, electricity connection, water connection, and subsidy at one office.
Mohan Agrawal, president, Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) said that it was a long standing demand of the association to re-claim the plots in Butibori that were lying idle. "We have frequently raised the issue on various platforms," he said.
The cancelled plots should be given to those people who have already applied to the Industries Department. They should be given plots at old rates, he demanded. "If MIDC increases the rates, it will be difficult to woo new investors," Agrawal pointed out.

First Published: Wed, March 22 2006. 00:00 IST