While some major companies have shown interest in setting up units in the Pithampur industrial area in Dhar district, the biggest worry for the government is limited availability of land.
Technology and manufacturing company Larsen &Toubro is in talks with the state government to set up a defence park in Pithampur and its officials will soon visit the state to inspect the site. Besides, specialty pharmaceutical company Ajanta Pharma, manufacturer of automobile components ZF Steering Gear (India) Ltd and furniture fittings company Hettich India Ltd are in talks with the state government to set up their units in Pithampur. In addition, leading pharmaceutical company Cadila Pharma too plans to set up a unit in the state. The directors of these companies have already met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
“The problem is that all the big companies except for Cadila Pharma want to set up units in Pihampur where space is limited. Cadila is setting up its plant in Jhabua district,” a state industry department official said.
The demand for plots in Pithampur is so high that many companies have applied for waiting list where they would be allocated plots only if the first applicant fails to meet land allotment conditions in prescribed time limit. There is only about one lakh square metres of vacant plots available.
The state government’s effort to market the newly developed industrial hubs in other districts has met with little success. While the government has reserved a portion of industrial land in all the districts for small-scale sector, the initiative is not yielding expected results as most entrepreneurs are reluctant to set up units at remote locations.
“The location of industrial land matters as the labour costs and transportation costs shoot up if plants are set up at remote locations,” former CII MP council chairman Girish Mangla said.
Government officials say that industrial hubs in and around major cities are already saturated and land is available at remote locations. The upcoming 22-km-long industrial corridor begin developed from Indore to Pithampur under Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor will solve the problem of land shortage, but the project has been delayed due to delay in land acquisition.