Cement biggies plump for Gulbarga to set up units

Being the seventh largest cement manufacturing State in the country, Karnataka is seeing a spurt in number of cement manufacturing units being set up within its boundaries. The sole beneficiary of investment by cement industry being Gulbarga district.

As per statistics available with Karnataka Udyog Mitra (KUM), a whopping Rs 39,820.73 crore is either invested, or being invested, in the district. The investment details suggest that no less than 32 units by 16 companies in the State will generate employment of 18,020. A total extent of 42,575 acre of land has been allocated by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) under Section 109 of Karnataka Land Revenue (KLR) Act of 1964.

Perhaps the only district to have limestone in large quantity, Gulbarga is seeing a jump in cement industries making it a manufacturing base to cater to southern states in the country.

Over the last four years, demand for cement has been on the increasing side. Simultaneously, supply of cement has also seen a spurt. The largest supply of cement is from Andhra Pradesh with extensive quarrying of limestone and manufacturing of cement in that State.

Karnataka has been generating about 22 million tonne of cement each financial year, as per Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) data of 2010. Based on the said data, companies have extrapolated that southern states will see a surge in the use of cement over the next two years with demand reaching 20 MT in 2015-16 in Karnataka alone.

In Karnataka, the largest investment from the industry has come from Rajashree Cements and Jaypee Cements. Both are investing no less than Rs 3,000 crore for setting up a 5 MTPA and 6 MTPA plants in Chittapur Taluk of Gulbarga.

Such has been the growth that one of the largest manufacturers of cement in the world, Lafarge is also setting up shop in Gulbarga. The company is planning to invest Rs 1,500 crore for a 3 MTPA plant in Chittapur taluk.

Lafarge is planning to acquire 601.1 acre of land in the region for its integrated quarrying and cement manufacturing plant. Sources said land acquisition for Lafarge is in its final stage, with final notification to be issued for the purpose.

Sources said almost all cement manufacturers, whose project implementation is still underway, will be acquiring land under old land acquisition law. The reason being projects received their approvals to set up industry between 2006 and 2010, with land acquisition process already having started during that period.

Meanwhile, officials said KUM has asked Reliance Cements to speed up its paperwork for land acquisition as they have only one and half years before expiry of their land allotment made by Karnataka in Sedam.
Almost all companies are setting up their own energy source through individual power stations, with water being utilised from ground and surface water received from the Kagina river.
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