The Shapoorji Pallonji Group on Wednesday held deliberations with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and a battery of senior bureaucrats of Punjab to explore business expansion avenues in sectors such as infrastructure, power, real estate, transportation and solar energy.
During the over 90-minute discussions the delegation, led by Shapoor P Mistry who is elder brother of Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, expressed interest in developing and maintaining complete civic amenities in both corporation cities and smaller towns, housing projects for the weaker sections, infrastructure, integrated township and solar energy.
The group also offered to build group housing, besides investing in setting up a mega solar park. The group has also expressed interest in the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) being planned for Amritsar city.
The deputy CM said besides outsourcing maintenance of all civic infrastructures to private companies in the four corporation cities, the government was keen that companies take up development and maintenance of civic infrastructure in all 140 towns in the state in the next three years.
He also bounced the idea before the visiting business tycoon that his group could participate in the bidding process for group housing projects being taken up by PUDA (Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority). He said the agency was in the process of inviting bids for construction of 900 flats at Ludhiana and 700 at Bathinda.
Regarding this proposal, Mistry requested that the projects could be offered to investors by following "Swiss Challenge mode," saying his company wanted to take them up from the design level. Mistry also offered to construct group housing for economically-backward sections after the deputy CM said the government had decided to construct 1 lakh affordable houses.
Sukhbir also mooted a proposal to the group to set up a 10,000-MW mega solar park, saying the government was ready for a unique partnership to make it possible. "We pay Rs 6,000 crore subsidy to Powercom as part of free power given to farmers for tubewell operations. We can evolve a mechanism whereby you can supply power to farmers and be paid for the same," Sukhbir said, adding this would be a win-win situation for both the state and the company as after a few years the state subsidy bill would start reducing once the investment cost was realised.
Mistry said his company would be keen to establish the solar park as it had more than 25 years of experience in this sector.
Asking Shapoorji group to invest in world-class exhibition and conventional centres to be built in Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar having ultra-modern facilities, Sukhbir said the first exhibition centre would be set up at Mohali, near International Airport on 50 acres with the estimated cost of Rs 235 crore.
Downtown projects in Ludhiana and Mohali also took the centre stage during the talks, in which Sukhbir Badal told the delegation that Punjab was also all set to establish downtown in Mohali on 80 acres and 31 acres in Ludhiana.