The Centre has set an October 31 deadline, asking Jharkhand to arrange for another Rs 2.5 crore from prospective investors to ensure the pending auto cluster project near Jamshedpur gets off the ground.
In four years, special purpose vehicle Adityapur Auto Cluster Limited and Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority (Aiada) have together managed to draw a measly Rs 75 lakh from investors to develop the Rs 65-crore project.
Adityapur Auto Cluster Limited was formed to develop the project along with Aiada under the supervision of the state industry department.
In a firm rap, the state authorities were also told to ensure that they finalise a tender to set up a hazardous waste management facility by November 30. “So far about Rs 75 lakh have been arranged for the project as investors’ contribution. We have been told to ensure that by October 31, another Rs 2.5 crore is contributed by investors,” state industries secretary A.P. Singh told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi on Thursday.
Singh attended a meeting chaired by Saurabh Chandra, the secretary of the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) — which functions under the ministry of commerce and industry.
The Adityapur auto cluster project was sanctioned way back in 2008-09, but so far work on only its hi-tech lab, an important component, is in progress. Work on other facilities such as hazardous waste management plan, common business centre and common effluent treatment plant is yet to begin.
The Centre is supposed to contribute 75 per cent of the funds in the Rs 65-crore project, while the state government and industries registered with the proposed auto cluster are due to bear the remainder.
The Centre had released one-third of the total grants, around Rs 16 crore, as first instalment in 2008.
The state government has so far chipped in with Rs 2 crore, nearly one-third of the Rs 6.5 crore (10 per cent of the total costs) it has to invest.
The remaining 15 per cent (over Rs 9 crore) has to be drawn from prospective investors.
Singh said Jharkhand had also received a stern letter from the DIPP last month, stating that given the slow pace of the project, they might cancel it.
Sources in Delhi pointed out that during today’s meeting various similar plans from across the country were taken up, but the DIPP authorities expressed concern over the low utilisation of funds for the Adityapur auto cluster project.
Will the Adityapur auto cluster meet its deadline?