Delhi govt proposes overhaul of drains, roads in industrial areas

ByAlok KN Mishra
Sep 30, 2023 11:21 PM IST

The Delhi government plans to redevelop 26 non-conforming industrial areas to improve infrastructure, create green spaces, and boost employment opportunities. The areas, which were not originally designated for industrial use, currently house thousands of factories. The redevelopment plans also aim to address pollution concerns and improve the functioning of the industries.

The Delhi government has proposed the redevelopment of 26 non-conforming industrial areas across the Capital, that cumulatively house thousands of factories and employ hundreds of thousands of residents of the city, officials aware of the matter said.

Non-conforming industrial clusters are spread across the Capital. (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Non-conforming industrial clusters are spread across the Capital. (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

A non-conforming industrial cluster is an area that has developed in a locality not originally meant for industrial use. These areas are scattered across the city, and include localities such as Libaspur, Mundka, Khayala, Karawal Nagar, Sultanpur Majra, Nawada, Rithala, Haiderpur, Dabri, Naresh Park Extension, Tikri Kalan, and Shahdara, among others.

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Officials said that under its redevelopment plan for these areas, the government has proposed an overhaul of roads, cultivating green spaces, and creating drains, effluent treatment plants, parking spaces, and other facilities. Around 10% of the total area will be reserved for infrastructure requirements such as sub-stations, pump houses, fire stations, police posts, etc. The redevelopment plans will also include requirements for storage tanks, ground water recharging, rainwater harvesting, and a drainage plan, the officials said.

Industries minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the move will create respectable industrial clusters. “Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had a meeting with all non-conforming industrial area associations (in June) and had promised that the Delhi government will pay 90% of the consultant fees for making development plans. This step will be a major milestone towards creating safe and respectable industrial clusters. This will boost employment opportunities in the Capital,” he said.

“These industries will get access to many new opportunities like easy loans, collaboration with multinational companies. These people have long been exposed to harassment by multiple authorities and this step will permanently end all the harassment,” Bharadwaj said.

The proposals to redevelop non-conforming industrial areas was first envisaged in Delhi’s 2022-23 Budget, and the government announced that it will redevelop the industrial clusters to bridge the infrastructural deficit and provide better facilities and amenities in the clusters to boost business growth. “The redevelopment of the industrial clusters plan is ready to be rolled out. We are going to engage consultants to get the redevelopment plans prepared for this purpose. A tender has been issued for it. Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) proposes to empanel architect consultants for making the redevelopment plans,” said a DSIIDC official.

Vijay Virmani, president of the Delhi Manufacturers Association, an industry body that represents traders from 26 non-conforming industrial clusters, said, “Around 10,000 factories which produce a range of products from furniture, readymade garments, toys, auto parts, etc are located in the 26 industrial clusters which need redevelopment. The redevelopment will facilitate the functioning of the industries and lead to business growth, which will generate more employment and bring more revenue for the government.”

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at Centre for Science and Environment, said: “The redevelopment of non-conforming industrial areas can be an opportunity to build appropriate and common infrastructure to address pollution from small and medium scale industries. The government should ensure implementation of clean fuels strategy and stop use of dirty fuels. This can enable improved surveillance of units to ensure that only those units with ‘consent to operate’ certificates from DPCC can operate.”

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