With the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court directing the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DBT) and the liquidators to issue tenders for the sale of Hukumchand Mills land, the focus has now shifted to the valuation of the 42.49-acre land and the reserved floor price.
“The state government will have to change the land use from industrial to commercial for better valuation of the land and has given this assurance to the high court,” said Harnam Singh Dhariwal, Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) leader and treasurer of Indore Mill Mazdoor Sangh.
“With the development of the surrounding area and taking the current guidelines into account, experts have valued the land at around Rs 1,500 crore,” he told HT.
The high court on Friday directed the DBT and the liquidators to issue tenders for the sale of Hukumchand Mills land within 15 days and asked the state government not to interfere in the matter.
Prior to this directive, the state government had failed to make clear its stand on whether they would give up its claim on the land or not. The mill was closed in 1991 and since then the 5,900-odd mill workers have been fighting for the dues to the tune of Rs 229 crore.
Attempts to auction the land in 2013 and 2014 proved futile as the state government came out with advertisement cautioning potential buyers that it had a stake in the land. There was also a controversy over the reserved floor price of Rs 400 crore which the workers felt was too low.
According to the prevalent guidelines, if the land use is changed from industrial to commercial then the 42.49-acre of land would be worth around Rs1500 crore, which is sufficient to meet the dues of the debtors (totaling around Rs 400 crores) and also the mill workers.
“We have also been assured by the court that money earned from auction will be distributed among all the parties, including the employees,” Singh said.