Welcome to Panipat — Haryana’s textile hub

Poor sanitation, choked sewers, broken roads, non-functional streetlights define this globally recognised industrial centre

Welcome to Panipat — Haryana’s textile hub

Mukesh Tandon

There is hardly any country, where handloom products manufactured in Panipat are not supplied. The city is globally known as the ‘Textile City’, which has more than 30,000 small and big units, where approximately 3 lakh labourers work. The total business turnover of industries in Panipat is approximately Rs35,000 crore per annum, of which Rs8,000 crore is exported, while Rs27,000 crore is for domestic market.

Pathetic condition of roads in Sector 29, Part-I

But despite all this, industrial areas in the ‘Textile City’ are deprived of even basic amenities. Industrialists said they have been complaining about poor sanitation, choked sewers, broken roads and non-functional streetlights for the past many years, but to no avail. Though works have started in some industrial sectors slow pace cripple that development.

Panipat is a center of handloom products where carpets, cushions, velvet cushions, sofa fabrics, bed sheets, curtains and towels among other things are manufactured. Besides, it has also become a hub of recycle industry, resulting in the production of yarn out of discarded clothes.

Old Industrial Area of Panipat. Photos by writer

Industrialists said they were suffering a lot and facing a tough time for the past many years due to officials’ apathy. They said they were devoid of even basic amenities such as roads, sewerage, streetlights, potable water, cleanliness and garbage lifting in their industrial zones. Industrialists said they had approached MPs, MLAs, Mayor and all senior officers for their grievances but no one bothered about their genuine problems.

Old Industrial Area

Old Industrial Area is the oldest industrial cluster in the city which was established in 1949. Industries grew gradually but infrastructure was not updated accordingly. Approximately 300 industries are operational here and scores of other industries have been developed adjoining these.

Former Industries Minister Vipul Goel had on July 28, 2017, in the first term of the BJP government announced Rs31 crore for improving the infrastructure, including streetlights, roads and sewerage in the area on the demand of industrialists. The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) had allotted the work order for the construction of roads in February 2019 after one-and-a-half years of the minister’s announcement to a Hisar-based company. The contractor had to complete the work in 11 months, but only 10 per cent work has been completed so far.

There were around 300 plots in Sector 29 Part-1 and 175 factories are operational. But roads are in a pathetic condition and water keeps flowing on these. The contract of around Rs11.5 crore for road construction was allotted and work was started, but only 30 per cent work was done, while 70 per cent work was yet to be completed. Besides, the tender of estimated cost of Rs33 crore for roads and sewerage in Sector 25 Part 1 and 2 was allotted six months ago, but the work was not started.

Industrialists say they pay taxes to the state government and maintenance charges to the HSIIDC, but they were still deprived of basic amenities. The condition of internal roads was extremely bad and potholes make transportation difficult.

Vinod Dhamija, an exporter who has an industrial unit in Old Industrial area, said: “The only identity of old industrial area is no roads, non-functional streetlights, potholed roads flooded with water and heaps of garbage everywhere.”

“We feel ashamed when any buyer from abroad comes to us and sees the condition of roads here. These potholed roads get flooded, especially during the rainy season. Industrialists and their workers have a tough time reaching their factories,” Dhamija said.

“We were very happy when the work order was allotted to a firm in February 2019 as we were hoping that the roads would be constructed soon. The contractor dug up the roads but forgot to construct these again,” he alleged, adding that they have approached MP, MLAs, Mayor, officers of HSIIDC about the slow pace of work, but to no avail.

Crimes aplenty

The condition of roads in another industrial Sector 29-part-1, especially those connecting the internal areas, is in a pitiable condition. The streetlights are non-functional and crime incidents such as snatchings, loots and assaults are on the rise in these industrial areas. Miscreants loot factory workers and others on a daily basis.

Shree Bhagwan Aggarwal, president, Industrial Estate Association Sector 29-part-1, said a budget amounting to Rs928 lakh under SIIDS scheme of the Centre was passed in July 2018 for the construction of internal roads in the sector and work order was allotted to a private contractor. But the work is moving at a slow pace, courtesy apathy of MC officials.

“Only 30 per cent of the work is complete so far, while 70 per cent is pending,” he said. Besides, the budget amounting to Rs283 lakh was also passed for the construction of storm-water drainage system in the sector and work order to a private company was also allotted. But the work has not been started yet, he maintained.

We have met officers of the departments concerned several times, held meetings with MPs and MLAs but no one cares, he alleged. Everyone gave us assurance that the work would be completed soon, but no action has been seen on ground level, Aggarwal said.

Sector 29, Part-2, was established by Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) (then HUDA) in 2003 specially for dyeing units. Around 614 plots have been allotted to industrialists and 350 dyeing units are functional.

Untreated water containing hazardous chemicals and colours, discharged from the units, can be seen flowing on roads openly in the area and green belt of the sectors. The old sewerage is choked. The laying of new sewer lines is under way but again at a very slow pace.

Bheem Rana, chairman, Federation of Industrialists Associations and president of the Panipat Dyers’ Association, said: “Due to tireless efforts of the members of association, some big development works worth crores of rupees have been started. But development works are going on at a very slow pace. Works, including laying of sewer pipes and construction of drains, have been completed but the construction of roads was not completed so far. About 40 per cent work is pending so far, due to which we have to face problems.”

Expressing resentment over the condition of streetlights in the sector, Rana said even a single streetlight was not functional here for the past three years. He said he has raised this issue in every meeting with the administration regularly in the last two years, but to no avail.

“Besides, another big problem was the main CETP Road, which is in an utter neglected condition as estimate was passed and work order allotted, but work has not commenced so far,” Rana said.

He said there were scores of other problems which the industrialists were facing in their day to day life. There was no mechanism of cleanliness in the industrial sectors with the Municipal Corporation Panipat (MCP). No one comes here to lift garbage and there is no dumping point either for industrial waste. No market has been developed in these industrial sectors. There is no provision of even potable water in the sector from 2008, he said.

No fire-fighting mechanism

Apart from basic amenities in the newly developed industrial cluster in sectors here, the fire-fighting mechanism was the need of the hour. Industrialists have been demanding advanced fire-fighting mechanism for the past several years, but to no avail.

Lalit Goyal, president, Panipat Exporters’ Association, said: “Maximum industries are polyester-based industries and 90 per cent industries use petro products, which is highly inflammable. Industrialists have to face a loss in crores of rupees due to fire incidents every year. We have been demanding a separate fire station, equipped with advanced fire-fighting mechanism and skilled firemen at Sector 29 for the last four years on Chautala Road. Besides, fire hydrant systems are a must in industrial sectors, so that tenders can get water easily during any incident. At present, the situation is such that if any fire occurs, then fire tenders will have to rely on submersible pumps established in industries for water because there is no fire hydrant point in industrial sectors except at Sector-25, which is very time consuming at the time of fire incidents.”

Pritam Singh Sachdeva, president, Northern India Roller Spinners’ Association, said: “The city has expanded and industries are also increasing day by day but there is no fire-fighting system in the city. There are only few hydrants and only three fire stations, while Panipat needs three more fire stations. The industrialists are forced to bear loss of over Rs120 crore in the past two years only due to fire incidents. Over 75 per cent industries in the city are based on polyester, highly inflammable chemicals and to control fire, it needs maximum foam tenders. The state government has to separate fire services from Municipal Corporation, so that it can work perfectly.”

No. 1 recycle industry hub

  • Panipat has become the world’s number one recycle industry hub, manufacturing yarn out of discarded clothes
  • Products manufactured: Blankets, bed sheets, sofa fabric, curtains, towels, cushions, bed covers, bath mats, foot mats, cotton products, carpets, daris and other handloom products
  • The city exports products to European countries, Britain, USA, Gulf countries, Japan among others

Figures at a glance

Small and big industries

30,000 (approx)

Migrant labourers

3 lakh (approx)

Total turnover

Rs35-36 crore (approx)

Domestic market

Rs27,000-Rs28,000 crore (approx)

Export turnover

Rs8,000 crore (approx)

Officialspeak

‘Multiple factors responsible’

Multiple factors were responsible for the delay in construction of roads in the old industrial area of Panipat. A majority of roads have to be cemented. Earlier, the roads were constructed by the PWD B&R Department. We had to recalculate the level of the road as the industrialists opposed the level proposed by us. Besides, the National Green Tribunal had banned all construction activities for over one-and-a-half month due to rising air pollution. A ban on mining activities in Yamunanagar district also affected the progress of the work. Weather disturbance was another big reason for delay. But now, we are hoping that the work will be completed before the rainy season starts. Virender Kadyan, XEN, HSIIDC

Industrialistspeak

Maximum industries are polyester-based and 90 per cent use petro products, which is highly inflammable. Industrialists have to face a loss in crores due to fire incidents every year. We have been demanding a separate fire station, equipped with advanced fire-fighting mechanism and skilled firemen at Sector 29 for the past four years on Chautala Road. Besides, fire hydrant systems are a must in industrial sectors, so that tenders can get water easily during any incident. Lalit Goyal, President, Panipat Exporters' Association

The city has expanded and industries are also increasing day by day, but there is no fire-fighting system in the city. There are only a few hydrants and three fire stations, while Panipat needs three more. The industrialists have been forced to bear the loss of over Rs120 crore in the past two years only due to fire incidents. Pritam Singh Sachdeva, President, Northern India Roller Spinners' Association

Due to the tireless efforts of the members of association, some big development works worth crores of rupees have been started. But development works are going on at a very slow pace. Works, including laying of sewer pipes and construction of drains, have been completed but the construction of roads was not completed so far. About 40 per cent work is pending so far, due to which we have to face problems. Bheem Rana, Chairman, Federation of Industrialists Assns & president, Panipat Dyers' Association

The only identity of old industrial area is no roads, non-functional streetlights, potholed roads flooded with water and heaps of garbage everywhere. We feel ashamed when any buyer from abroad visits us and sees the condition of roads here. These potholed roads get flooded, especially during the rainy season. Industrialists and their workers have a tough time reaching their factories. Vinod Dhamija, An exporter who has an industrial unit in Old Industrial area

A budget amounting to Rs928 lakh under SIIDS scheme of the Centre was passed in July 2018 for the construction of internal roads in the sector and work order was allotted to a private contractor. But the work is moving at a slow pace, courtesy MC officials’ apathy. Shree Bhagwan Aggarwal, President, Industrial Estate Association Sector 29 Part-I

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