The state government has turned the heat on unused industrial plots as firms in the state are scrambling for suitable land to set up their plants.
State Industries Department-controlled Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has served notices to investors, who are holding government allotted industrial land without putting it to any use.
More than 5,500 such investors will have to surrender the land or pay a hefty penalty before starting any new project.
The land surrendered will then be allocated to needy investors because the state doesn’t have enough free hold land for industrial use, even as it is in the process of revival after the economic slowdown.
“When we ran a thorough check at all MIDC estates, we came to know that there were several vacant plots. MIDC had allotted the land for industrial purpose, but the firms or individuals who got the said land didn’t run any unit there,” Industry Minister Rajendra Darda told Hindustan Times.
MIDC is one of the biggest landowners with 1,30,000 acres of land at its disposal.
Even if 20 per cent of MIDC land bank is made available for the corporation, it will be extremely helpful, said a senior bureaucrat requesting anonymity.
Darda said that the drive to fine defaulters is being taken up very stringently.
“In case defaulters have paid up dues, we have asked them to start their venture in 10 months or else MIDC will reclaim its land. Some units paid a penalty — such as the case of a Navi Mumbai unit which paid Rs 17 lakh for a small 500 square meters unused plot.”
The minister said that the department plans to reduce the grace period given to a firm for building a unit from four years to two. “Two years is more than enough for any serious investor to finish the project,” he said.