Ranchi, July 2: In what may come as a major boost for Jamshedpur, the state industry department is planning to convert around 256 acres of unutilised government land in neighbouring Adityapur in Seraikela-Kharsawan district into a special economic-cum-business zone.
The land in question belongs to Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority (Aiada), which has pledged all necessary support to the department that has already started taking baby steps to make the plan a success amid the overall economic and development gloom.
Jharkhand Infrastructure Development Corporation (JINFRA) has been given the task to prepare a master plan for the proposed business centre on a war-footing. A team from the industry department, headed by director Dipankar Panda, and JINFRA officials inspected the site adjacent to the Adityapur toll bridge yesterday after which an extensive meeting was held with Aiada officials.
JINFRA has now been asked to submit a tentative plan by July 5 so that the proposal can be formally put before state development commissioner Sudhir Prasad at a meeting that’s likely to be held next week.
“We have asked JINFRA to give us a plan by July 5. Some of the components that are likely to find space in the business zone include an information technology park and clusters for electronic, general manufacturing and auto units. For example, we are planning to allot about 50-60 acres to electronics, 54 acres to auto sales and 25 acres to IT. The picture will become clearer after we get the master plan,” said Panda.
The proposed master plan will also factor in basic facilities like sewerage and water treatment plants.
“The main idea is to put the available government land into productive use to keep encroachers at bay,” he added.
Another departmental official said that the central government has agreed to cough up funds to the tune of about Rs 50 crore under the electronic manufacturing clusters scheme.
The IT sector may come up on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
“There was an earlier plan to set up an STPI (Software Technology Park of India) in Jamshedpur, which can be further linked to the IT hub under the PPP expansion mode. However, things are at a nascent stage at now. Hence, it’s too early to disclose the names of a couple of firms from Bangalore that are vying to set up shops here. But the only apprehension for them is poor air connectivity. It’s a major problem for them and we are currently brainstorming to find a solution,” said an official.
All said and done, Jharkhand’s record in executing projects has been rather bad. Since its inception, the state has hardly seen any progressive industrial development, a potential engine for growth and employment, thanks to its laggard attitude in taking decisions.
As a result, the industry department has failed to reap benefits from the scores of MoUs it signed with various companies.
Panda admitted as much, but stressed that they were not envisioning too many hurdles in this project as the land, which becomes a major bone of contention, was in their possession.
“Except for some encroachments here and there, the land is entirely with Aiada. All we need to do is to judiciously plan and implement the project that will benefit all,” Panda said.