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Himachal

Posted at: Nov 12, 2017, 12:13 AM; last updated: Nov 12, 2017, 12:13 AM (IST)

Few takers for new industrial areas

High cost of land, slump in market keeping investors away

Golthai industrial area

  • Golthai, a planned industrial area, was set up near Bhakra in Bilaspur district
  • Two major steel units came in Golthai that provided employment to thousands most of whom wereBhakra Dam oustees
  • Now most of the units have closed down
  • Only one or two small-scale industries are operational

Mehatpur Industrial area

  • Mehatpur was the first planned industrial area of Una
  • Initially, the industrial area was successful
  • However, now just one major pharmaceutical unit is operational. All others are small units
Few takers for new industrial areas

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 11

There are no takers for the new industrial area, Pandoga, being developed at a cost of about Rs 70 crore in Una district. Sources said high cost of land in the new industrial area and a slump in economy were keeping investors away.

The Department of Industries had pegged the cost of industrial plots in Pandoga at about Rs 4,000 per sq m.

Though new industrial areas are being developed despite there being no takers, there is no policy in place for reviving old industrial areas where most of the industry has either shut down or deserted the state.

In Kangra district zone, Sansarpur Terrace industrial and Damtal areas are the old industrial areas on the borders of Punjab. Both industrial areas failed to attract any major industry even during the period when the Himachal was availing the benefits of industrial package under which industries coming up were exempt from Central Excise and Income Tax for five years after being commissioned.

A few small-scale units did come up in the industrial areas. Now, most of the units in the industrial areas have closed down.

Golthai was a planned industrial area brought up near Bhakra in Bilaspur district along the borders of Punjab. Two major steel units came up in Golthai industrial area that provided employment to thousands most of whom were Bhakra Dam oustees. However, now most of the units in Golthai industrial area have closed down. Sources here said just one unit or two small-scale industries are operational in Golthai industrial area now.

Mehatpur was the first planned industrial area of Una district. Initially, the industrial area was successful as many big and small units came up here. However, now just one major pharmaceutical unit of any substance was operational in the industrial area. All other units are small units.

Minister for Industrial Mukesh Agnihotri had admitted that most of the industry at Golthai industrial area had closed down. He had maintained that the industrial area had local problems due to which major steel units there had shut. He declined that other industrial areas like Mehatpur, Sansarpur Terrace and Damtal had failed.

The minister had maintained that an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in the form of new units and expansion of existing units had flown into the state. This illustrated that the government had done well to attract the industry of Himachal even in the absence of industrial package. Sources here said the state government should also bring out a policy or announce incentives for reviving the existing industrial areas, besides bringing new areas. This can put to use investment worth crores that has been put into developing the existing industrial areas.

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