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Karnataka plans 'walk to work' industrial townships

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The state government has planned to reserve 10% of the total land notified for industrial use for small and medium enterprises

The Karnataka government, which attracted investment proposals totaling a record Rs4 lakh crore during the recently-concluded global investors meet, is now facing a daunting task — accommodating large-scale industries and a large number of ancillaries that will form their vendor base.

While the state is acquiring nearly 100,000 acres of land for big industrial projects, it is also set to create new industrial townships for small and medium enterprises (), for the first time in 20 years. The state government has conceived, also for the first time, a new ‘walk to work’ model for SMEs, which entails new industrial estates having residential colonies in the vicinity of workplaces.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 new SMEs will come up across the state to form a Tier-II and Tier-III vendor base to some big industrial projects in the iron and steel sector, like , , , , and , among others.

“We have notified 80,000 acres of land for big projects across the state. We would be setting apart about 10 per cent of the total land for SMEs for both expansion of existing companies and also for new units, which will come up along with the big industrial projects,” V P Baligar, principal secretary in the Karnataka government’s department of commerce and industries, said.

To begin with, the government is acquiring 200 acres of land at Nelamangala near Bangalore to develop the Greater Peenya industrial estate, which would cater to the land requirements of about 300 units. The government is setting apart some portion of this land for construction of residential colonies.

“The government has been getting a lot of requests from SMEs for creation of new industrial estates in and around Bangalore. The development of Greater Peenya will ease congestion at the existing industrial township,” Baligar said.

In addition, the government also plans to develop a new industrial estate at Kamakshipalya in Bangalore. It is also acquiring 600 acres at Doddaballapur and 3,000 acres near Bangalore international airport for development of new industrial townships. The government has also received an encouraging response from industries for aerospace, software and hardware parks near the international airport, he said.

M C Dinesh, executive committee member of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), said, “We need at least 400 acres of land near Bangalore so that 50 per cent of that area could be used for creation of new industrial plots and sheds. Already, 92 per cent of the total MSMEs in the state are located outside the industrial estates. The situation is worse in Bangalore, as nobody is in a position to expand their units due to lack of space.”

Of about 400,000 units registered in the MSME category in Karnataka, close to 50 per cent are located in residential areas in Bangalore, causing noise and air pollution. These units not only are served frequent notices by the state pollution control board, but are also deprived of quality supply of power. The government has not created any new industrial estate in the last two decades, he said.

Dinesh said the state government has responded positively to their demands and has notified land at Nelamangala for creation of Greater Peenya. The significance of Greater Peenya is that it will have a common effluent treatment plant, connectivity to the natural gas pipeline and railway line. So far, 350 SMEs have paid an advance of 25 per cent to Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) for allotment of 10,000 sq ft of land, he said.

Apart from Bangalore, the government has also acquired 3,000 acres at Yadgir for development of an industrial township. “We want to develop a pharma park in this place. Already the government has cleared applications from seven or eight pharma companies for setting up their facilities here. The government will create common infrastructure like an effluent treatment plant and provide land for the companies,” Baligar said.

He said that for the first time, the government is promoting the “walk to work” concept in the state.

Land has been identified for development of new industrial townships in other places like Hoskote, Gauribidanur, Bagepalli, Kolar, Harohalli and Bidar, he said. The government has also acquired 63 acres at Gamanagatti in Hubli for creation of a new industrial estate.

The Karnataka government is also planning to acquire another 800 acres for the expansion of the Mangalore Special Economic Zone in Mangalore, he added. The SEZ is presently spread over 1,800 acres.

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