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Biada whip on unused plots

Bokaro Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) has again got cracking on companies that have not started operations even after getting land years ago or are only using a portion of the allotted plot.

Biada managing director and Bokaro deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh conducted surprise inspections at the industrial zone in Balidih on Thursday and Friday and made a list of such laggard firms that are not using land judiciously.

The authorities’ next step will be to issue notices to the identified companies to vacate the prime land, which will be then handed over to those who are genuinely interested in setting up business in the state.

The inspections, carried out at the instructions of state industry secretary Himani Pandey, revealed that Maa Kali Papers, Kumar Minerals, Vijay Laboratories, Bihar Industries, Saravjeet Industries, SM International, Prabhat Udyog, Eastern India Cement Pvt. Ltd, BL Organic, BMW Industries and a few others have been non-starters even after receiving huge chunks of land measuring between 20 and 100 acres from Biada.

The ones that were granted 10 to 20 acres have been able to utilise barely two-three acres. These include Castron Housing, Swizer Industries, Radhika Enterprises, Mithila Industries and Modern Poultry.

“We are in the process of serving notices to all these units that have not started productions, asking them to vacate the plots. They are unnecessarily wasting prime land. Notices will be also served on those who are not using the entire plot given to them,” Singh told The Telegraph.

He added that he had also constituted a team of three extension officers of Biada — Ankita Kumari, Mohammad Rizwan and Koren Xess — for submitting day-to-day reports on the real position of the plots and how much area was being actually utilised by the companies.

“We can take necessary action on the basis of these reports,” the Biada MD said.

Singh will also visit the industrial zones of Dhanbad and Girdih, which fall under Biada, for inspections of all units.

However, the inspection also had its good side with the MD discovering that several industries like Ashoka Foundry, Om Bottlers and Lubrex Industry were doing a great job. “These industries are doing exceptionally well and require additional land to increase their productivity and create more employment opportunities. I have agreed to give them more land soon,” he added.

According to Biada secretary S.N. Upadhaya, the non-functional units were causing huge losses to Biada as they were not paying taxes. “Land was granted to these industries about eight years back, but they have not been able to start productions yet. This proves that they are not serious. It’s high time that they vacate the plots for other genuine investors,” he added.

More than 125 industrial and corporate houses have expressed interest in setting up factories in Bokaro, Giridih and Dhanbad, but Biada has no excess plot and has hence started the crackdown.