Nearly 20 years after it was conceived, the proposed Gems and Jewellery Park project in Rau near Indore is yet to take off. In 2013, after prolonged delays over land acquisition, the government nodal agency prepared a detailed project report (DPR) and sent it to state government for approval. However, one year later, the proposal is still awaiting state cabinet's nod.
The proposed park, popularly known as Diamond Park, will be a hub for cutting and polishing of diamonds. The park has a special economic zone (SEZ) status and will suit diamond processing units with 100% export-based operations. The project is being developed on public-private partnership (PPP) model over an area measuring 116 hectare with a total estimated cost of Rs 161 crore.
While the DPR has been ready since August, 2013 in which the nodal agency has proposed selecting a private developer for the project, the state government is yet to give its stamp of approval.
"The process was delayed due to model code of conduct coming into force during state elections in 2013 and then general elections in 2014. With the government now busy with preparations for Global Investors' Summit, any decision will be taken only after October," a state industry official told HT.
However, sources say that the government could have granted approval to the project after general elections in May, but the file has been stuck because of bureaucratic apathy.
The state government had tried to hard sell the Diamond Park during the investors' summit in 2012 but without any success. One of the reasons for lack of interest shown by the investors was that the infrastructure was not ready. Once the private developer is selected, it will start work on the construction of basic infrastructure for the park. The AKVN has projected four years for infrastructure development. Once the infrastructure is in place, the developer will have to lease the space to the companies willing to set up units in the park.
The park will have an SEZ and also a non-SEZ zone and so will suit diamond processing units with 100% export-based operations. A residential colony, hospital and education centre are also proposed to be set up. In a bid to woo investors, the government has promised a world-class infrastructure.
In 1995, the then state government conceived the Diamond Park project for setting up a cluster comprising diamond cutting and polishing units at a suitable location near Indore. The project was delayed because of opposition by a section of farmers who refused to sell their land and instead moved court.