Industrialists have deposited Rs. 6.05 crore as part of their contribution to the centrally-sponsored Rs. 79-crore hand tool cluster project in the city, pending for more than two years.
The project, sanctioned by the centre in 2010, has been delayed due to a tussle among various industry factions, even as its deadline has been extended thrice.
State industry minister Anil Joshi convened a meeting of the five members of the board of directors of Indian Tool Technology Centre (ITTC), the company formed to run the cluster, on May 21. At the meeting, two directors Jyoti Parkash and Gian Bhandari and three former directors Gautam Kapoor, Jasjeet Singh and Sukhdev Raj deposited an amount of Rs. 6.05 crore (Rs 1.21 crore each) for the project.
The minister has asked directors Suresh Sharma and MK Bhandari to resign. Another meeting of board of directors in scheduled for May 29, in which the minister is likely to reconstitute the board of directors.
When contacted, Jyoti Parkash said: “We never wanted the project to be scrapped. For the industry's benefit, Rs. 6.05 crore have been deposited. The project will now be started with the available capital of more than Rs. 20 crore, including Rs. 17 crore of the first instalment of grant by the centre and about Rs. 7.25 crore (including Rs. 1.25 crore already deposited) of the industry's share.”
He added that the deadline for starting the project had been extended to May 30, which could be extended further, now that the money had been deposited, he claimed.
“To get the industry to contribute further, other fellow industrialists including micro-unit holders will be approached to join the cluster as a shareholder, once the project is operational,” Parkash said.
Meanwhile, director MK Bhandari, who was told to resign by the industry minister, criticised the decision to accept money from five people only.
“This will convert the Common Facility Centre (CFC) to a private limited company. Other industrialists will be deprived of this facility,” he alleged.