Mega land allotment could turn Agra into a garment hub
The Taj city’s dreams of turning itself into a garment hub hinges on the allotment of approximately 45-acre of unutilized land for an integrated textile and apparel industrial park, say experts dealing with the issue.
The land in question is owned by the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA). It is part of the 1,000-acre land parcel that was originally earmarked for a theme park project visualised by a prominent actor-cum-film-maker.
While the textile park is expected to give employment to at least 25,000 workers, the theme park project is dying a slow death in files, those in the know of things have said.
So far, two private developers have come forward to submit e-tenders of their expression of interest (EOI) to the state textile department for setting up of the integrated textile and apparel industrial park in Agra.
“They submitted their EOIs on 20.08.2020 (August 8, 2020) pursuant to the policy of the department of textile. These EOIs are particularly important for Agra, which is an ecologically sensitive area, being part of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). In TTZ, no polluting industries are permitted,” said KC Jain, chairman of the legal cell of the National Chamber of Industries and Commerce (NCIC), Agra chapter.
These EOIs were invited for seven tentative locations - Meerut, Agra, Jhansi, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur.
“Since garment manufacturing is classified as a white category industry by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there are no environmental hassles in setting them up. Recently, a virtual meeting was also held on 26.08.2020 (August 26, 2020) by Rama Raman, additional chief secretary, textiles, to have a dialogue with these private developers who have been asked to submit their detailed project reports (DPRs) in 45 days,” Jain said.
“One of these private developers, headed by Ashok Goyal of Surat, has asked for the allotment of 45 acres of land out of the 1,000 acres reserved for the ‘theme park’ in Agra. Owned by the UPSIDA, this land is located on Inner Ring Road with connectivity to the Yamuna Expressway and the Lucknow Expressway,” Jain added.
Jain further said that the land for the theme park project should be utilised for the apparel park and industrial cluster. “The very purpose of the acquisition of the land for the theme park has become non-existent with the actor having given up on this project. This land for the theme park is lying unutilised since 2014 and the UPSIDA is incurring heavy liability on the payment of interest,” he said.
Jain further said NCIC had recently conducted a demand survey of industrial plots in Agra. In the survey, 291 entrepreneurs responded and 206 favoured garment and accessories manufacturing units, reflecting the market demand.
Once the apparel and textile park comes up, these entrepreneurs can begin to set up their units there.
Ashok Goyal has also said the allotment is important as a government scheme envisages a subsidy of 50 percent on the purchase of land from a government agency. Without subsidy, it would not be possible to provide developed plots at an affordable price, he said.