Industry cries over unreasonable prices of govt land

Kassia & Peenya industries need over 1,200 acres of land together

But industry in the state claims that in the last six years not a single area has been developed for industrial park, though a lot of land has been acquired.

While the land acquisition process has been simplified, land prices quoted by the nodal agency — Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) — has been on the higher side, making it uneconomical for industries to purchase. This is specially true with the small and medium scale industries.

For instance, the KIADB quotes a price of Rs 59 lakh per acre in the Dobbospet industrial area, while the market price as claimed by the industry is just about Rs 30-35 lakh. “The Board is quoting Rs 1.2 crore per acre in the Devanahalli area while the land may have been purchased for as cheap as Rs 5 lakh,” says Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industries (Fkcci) President J Crasta. Conceding that the land cost at Dobbospet area is around Rs 57-59 lakh per acre, Land Development Officer at KIADB Ramakrishna said “that also includes the development cost incurred by the Board.”

Profit plan
Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) President M C Dinesh said “We understand that they need to keep their margins, but they cannot behave like private developers. Being a nodal agency they have responsibilities,” adding that he has already raised this issue at a vision group meeting with the State recently. He also said that several units which availed land in the Dobbospet area are surrendering the land as it is not economical.

Further,  KIADB Secretary B V Kumar said that the Board is quoting Rs 40 lakh per acre each at Belagola, Belavadi, Hebbal, Hootagalli in Mysore; prices in Thandya and Nanjangud also in Mysore, is Rs 15 lakh per acre, and price at Koograhalli is Rs 48 lakh.

Industrial associations claim that land cost in Shimoga and Gulbarga areas are also in the same range while the market price across these areas is between Rs 4-5lakh.
Reacting to these comments, Kumar said “what they need to understand is the cost that KIADB bears. Besides acquiring the land and paying the land owners, the board also takes up development work, including providing the required infrastructure.”

Peenya Industrial Association (PIA), which also expressed its  displeasure over the prices said that the infrastructure is also absent. Echoing the same other associations said that even after these ‘additional costs’, the prices are still unreasonable. Moreover, the purpose of streamlining of the land acquisition process — which was undertaken to encourage manufacturing industries — is defeated as the State has failed to allot land to both PIA and Kassia, who have been demanding 1,000 acres and 200 acres respectively in the last few years. PIA Vice-President Ravi Basavaraju said “as per our survey, we require around 1,000 acres of additional land. However the authorities have failed to allocate land and land that we identified for purchase through a third party proved to be expensive.” PIA sources said “government lands are also equally expensive and thereby, we are left with only the demand and no supply.”

Meanwhile, Kassia has also made proposals to avail 200 acres, Dinesh said, adding that “we want to establish an exclusive park — Kassia Industrial Park — but are unable to get land with both private and government agencies quoting high prices.”

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