Gurgaon: land relief row triggers panic
Reeling under the burden of enhanced land compensation, several micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at IMT Manesar are looking at an impending domino effect after auto major Maruti Suzuki India Limited expressed its intent to shut down its plant in Gurgaon.
Asked to pay land dues to the tune of over Rs 500 crore, Maruti’s decision to pull out could spell doom for over 200 smaller enterprises in the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar as these are ancillary units making components for Maruti.
“If Maruti shuts the plant, we will have no other option left. Several ancillary units are dependent on the bigger plants such as Maruti,” said Manmohan Gaind, general secretary, Manesar Industries Welfare Association (MIWA).
While the villagers who are entitled to the enhanced compensation are happy with the court order, they are worried that if the industries shut shop, the fringe economic benefits they enjoy will stop.
“We would like to arrive at an amicable solution to the issue in which will benefit all parties. Many workers will lose their jobs and the state will lose out on revenue. If the government agency has enough money, as claimed by industrialists, it should pay us,” said a former sarpanch of Aliyar village.
The industries at IMT, Manesar — spread over 3,500 acres — employ nearly 50,000 people, besides providing fringe economic benefits for as many people and villagers around the township.
The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC), which is the IMT promoter, had acquired land at the rate of R4.13 lakh per acre in 1997 for the development of phases 2, 3 and 4 of the township. This compensation was later raised to about R37 crore by the Punjab and Haryana High Court after a petition by the landowners.
Although HSIIDC has challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court, it maintains that according to the buyer-seller agreement, the enhanced cost has to be passed on to the buyers.
“A similar problem is being faced by industrialists at other industrial areas of the state such as Rohtak, Bawal, Sonepat, Hisar and Bahadurgarh. The economic feasibility of running business here is getting tougher,” said Arun Gupta, who runs a small garment manufacturing unit at IMT.