Hudco sanctions Rs 1,000 cr loan for IT Region project

The Housing and Urban Development Development Corporation  (Hudco) has sanctioned    Rs 1,000 crore loan for land acquisition for the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) at Devanahalli.

The Hudco had agreed to the loan in November 2014, while the idea of the loan was mooted in July 2014. It is now up to the IT department to move a proposal to Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) on the companies interested in setting up their establishments on the identified land.

Additional Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha told Deccan Herald: “A loan of Rs 1,000 crore had been sought for land acquisition under the ITIR Project by the IT department. The loan has now been sanctioned by Hudco. We are ready with the funds and can disburse it right away. We will act immediately on receiving proposal from the IT department on companies that require land. We only have to sign the papers and move the sanctioned loan immediately.”

The erstwhile UPA government at the Centre had sanctioned the ITIR project to the State and the first phase is expected to be completed by 2020. Chief minister Siddaramaiah during a State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) meeting had directed KIADB to pass a resolution on land acquisition only after which Hudco had agreed to advance the loan of Rs 1,000 cr.

Hurdles galore

Sources in the government said that while the loan may be ready, the IT department may not get the land as quickly as it wants to. “People have to be ready to part with their land. And given that the land is located in the Arkavathi river’s catchment area, it would be difficult to convince farmers. But land acquisition process is on.”

The difficulty arises because Arkavathi is the primary source of drinking water to villages around Devanahalli and the land in the region is agricultural land.

The former Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily, the MP from Chikkaballapur, had opposed land acquisition in two villages in Devanahalli taluk for the ITIR project.

The IT department can move the proposal if the companies too show interest. It is a tricky situation - the IT companies are waiting for land to be acquired, while the IT department is waiting for industries to sign up, who will do so only when land is available on the ground, not just on paper.

The ITIR is coming up on 10,000 plus acres spread across 40 sq km. Around 30 villages have been identified in Devanahalli and Doddaballapur taluks for the project.

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