Indl prospects bleak in Hassan

Indl prospects bleak in Hassan

Just four hours away from State’s capital Bangalore, over 2,300 acre of lands earmarked exclusively for industries and with all infrastructure in place, Hassan has not been able to make a cut with the industrialists to invest their money and expertise in the district.

The place is just apt for any industrial development, yet, has not seen much progress in the arena since many years. And, this has left the leaders of the districts as perplexed as the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board officials (KIADB). Between 1995 and 2007, about 2,351 acres of land was acquired in different phases and developed to suit the needs of the industrial area.

Majority of this land still lies vacant posing questions about what can be done to make it attractive for the investors and industrialists. In the total acquired area, about 951.55 acre was earmarked for development centre. Few of the locals who have set up businesses here are reaping good profits. In the rest of the land, about 265.33 acres has been reserved for food processing industries, about 250 acres for pharma sector, 250 acres for hardware industries, and about 614 acres for garment manufacturing industries.

The land reserved for hardware has been transfered to a company which provides essential services. But, apart from constructing the compound, no other progress has happened in the area. It is only in development centre that the entire land has been used. Half of the lands reserved for Special Economic Zone still lie vacant.

There is a binding on the companies that they have to set up the unit and start production within stipulated time period -- of two years in some cases. But, it has been years since the lands were allotted to companies and they have not even begun to create basic infrastructure for themselves.

“To start industries in Special Economic Zone, the companies have to cross too many restrictions and roadblocks. Hence, some have not started the works.

However, we can allot extra time if attempts have been made towards creating some sort of an infrastructure at the allocated site. Considering such attempts, we have given extra time for some industries,” said a KIADB official.

In spite of excellent train connectivity, Hassan has still not figured as a hot favourite among the industrialists. This ‘hesitation’ on part of the entrepreneurs is something that has left the officers too confused about the reason behind it. Only big industrial houses can plan to set up something in Special Economic Zone. This had prompted the earlier deputy commissioner Naveen Raj Singh to withdraw some lands and encourage some local entrepreneurs to set up industries in the place. A letter to this effect was also sent to the central office of the Board. However, the decision on the matter is pending.

The only tangible reason that the officials can arrive at, is the absence of airport in Hassan. “City lacks airport and industrialists these days don’t feel encouraged to invest in a place that is not connected by air. If Hassan gets its airport and works on Mangalore - Hassan four lane highway is completed, investors may consider coming to Hassan,” say the officials at KIADB.

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