Delhi govt to meet non-conforming industrial area groups, revamp on agenda

Updated on May 18, 2022 04:03 AM IST

Members of the industrial area associations have said that they have been pushing for redevelopment and expressed hope that the upcoming meetings will address a sticking point related to the preparation of the layout plan -- a task which the associations and the government are putting on each other.

Industries minister Satyendar Jain will hold meetings with associations of 25 non-conforming industrial areas between Wednesday and Friday. (HT Archive)
Industries minister Satyendar Jain will hold meetings with associations of 25 non-conforming industrial areas between Wednesday and Friday. (HT Archive)
ByRisha Chitlangia

New Delhi: Industries minister Satyendar Jain will hold meetings with associations of 25 non-conforming industrial areas, including Mundka where at least 27 people died in a devastating fire in a commercial building near the industrial area, between Wednesday and Friday to discuss redevelopment of the clusters, including preparation of the layout plans, said senior government officials.

“The meeting has not been called following the fire tragedy. The government has been working on this for some time now. The meeting is to discuss the way forward to redevelop these clusters,” said a senior official from the industries department.

Members of the industrial area associations have said that they have been pushing for redevelopment and expressed hope that the upcoming meetings will address a sticking point related to the preparation of the layout plan -- a task which the associations and the government are putting on each other.

According to a notice dated May 13, seen by HT, the meeting is a “pre-consultation with stakeholders/representatives of societies of notified industrial clusters for preparation of layout plans for the redevelopment of notified non-conforming industrial clusters in Delhi”.

The Delhi government had announced plans to redevelop the 25 industrial areas in its 2022-23 Budget, and the members of the associations had even met deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on May 10 to push their case again.

Confusion over layout plans

While the Delhi government has said that the layouts for redevelopment have to be prepared by the associations of the industrial clusters, the latter says that they don’t have the resources to get the plan made and the power to ask people to give up their land for laying essential infrastructure, such as sewers and widening of roads.

A senior industries department official said, “For the redevelopment of these clusters, layouts have to be prepared. As of now, the responsibility lies with the associations.”

In October last year, the Delhi government decided to extend the deadline for preparing the layouts of the industrial clusters by six months, from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2022.The decision was taken after associations held a meeting with Jain, who is also the chairman of Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), in September 2021.

With less than two months left for the deadline to expire, a senior DSIIDC official said, “It is clear that the associations of industrial areas will prepare the layouts. As for the deadline for submitting the layouts, we still have time. A decision in this regard will be taken soon.”

Industrial associations, however, feel the government needs to take over the task.

“We will go for the meeting. The government needs to get the layouts prepared as the associations can’t do it. We can’t ask people to give up their land for laying essential infrastructure,” said Sunil Chadha, general secretary of Mundka Industrial Area Welfare society.

Joginder Talwar, general secretary of Delhi Manufactures’ Federation, said, “This matter has been hanging fire for over a decade. It is good that the government has shown its intent to redevelop our clusters in the Budget. Now, it should also prepare the plan. We can assist the government. We will again tell the minister about this.”

“The government will have to take the responsibility of preparing the layouts. In a majority of the areas, there are small-scale industries operating with limited manpower in a small area. How can we ask the person to give up a portion of his/her plot for civic infrastructure such as road widening, fire station, etc?” said Talwar.

There are 25 industrial clusters in non-conforming areas (areas not marked for industrial activities) in Delhi where the state government has allowed operation of industries, subject to some conditions. The 25 industrial clusters, which have been notified in batches since 2005, operate in areas that are part of rural villages (non-conforming areas) such as Khyala, Peeragarhi, Mundka, Hastsal, Anand Parbat etc. These clusters have been notified for redevelopment by the Delhi government as the areas have 70% or more industries operating in these areas.

According to norms for the redevelopment of clusters of industrial concentration in non-conforming areas, notified in the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD)-2021 in 2012, “the redevelopment scheme will have to be prepared by the concerned local body/land-owning agency in consultation with the society (to be formed by the landowners).”

The MPD-2021 mandates that clusters should have a direct approach road of at least 18m width; reserve 10% area for surface parking, loading and unloading; another 10% area for infrastructure requirements such as police post, fire station, pump house etc; and 8% area for parks and other facilities.

Vijay Virmani, president of the Delhi Manufactures’ Federation, an association of non-conforming industrial clusters, said, “Small scale industry owners are already burdened by various permissions that are needed to operate the business. It is difficult for associations to convince everyone to come on board for redevelopment. In this, the government will have to take the lead.”

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