Block removed for industry units - Aiada deposits property value for transfer of 276.97 acres of forestland

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By ANKUSH SINGH in Jamshedpur
  • Published 26.05.09

Jamshedpur, May 26: Finally, decks have been cleared for a number of industrial projects that have been hanging in balance at Adityapur industrial area (AIA) for the past couple of years, courtesy a land dispute with the forest department.

The Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority (Aiada) has deposited the net property value (NPV) for de-notification — the transfer process — of 276.97 acres of forestland lying in AIA. Once the land is transferred to Aiada, it will hand over the acres to the industrial units.

“We have deposited Rs 7.01 crore with the forest department, thus clearing the hurdle for de-notification of 276.97 acres. Earlier, we had paid Rs 1.58 crore,” said an Aiada official. Aiada deposited the amount in compliance with a directive of the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee, which had asked it to pay the NPV for the forestland acquired by it before 1980.

Due to the dispute with the forest department, Aiada had failed to provide space to more than 150 new projects earlier cleared by its board. Around 1,200 acres of forestland in AIA are lying unutilised.

However, the industrial body has to re-start the de-notification process for the remaining 923.12 acres of forestland acquired by it after 1980.

This is because, a forest department official explained, the Forest Conservation Act came into existence in 1980 and the power for transferring forestland went to the Union government. Before the enactment of this act, the forest-land was transferred by the state itself.

And because of this change in the process of de-notification of land, forestland acquired by the authority became a disputed property. Though the authority maintained that it had acquired forestland for industrialisation, the forest department claimed it had no records to authenticate Aiada’s claim.

“We have started the process to de-notify the rest of disputed forestland lying within AIA. It is pending at the state level. We are sure that it will be completed soon,” added the Aiada official.

He maintained that while new industrial projects would come up in the industrial belt, the existing ones could expand their units once the land transfer is over.