Barmer salt project hangs fire, investors in limbo
Even as Rajasthan slipped to ninth position in the ease of doing business in the country, a major project in Barmer is hanging fire for a year because the government has not allocated land to the interested private investorsjaipur Updated: Jul 20, 2018 22:06 IST
Even as Rajasthan slipped to ninth position in the ease of doing business in the country, a major project in Barmer is hanging fire for a year because the government has not allocated land to the interested private investors.
In 2015, the state government approved a proposal to set up 38 salt units in Bakhasar area of Barmer district. The district industries department prepared the proposal for these units spread over 4,020-acre land in four villages. Each unit was to come up in 40-acre land.
“We sent the site plan to the state government in January 2017, after which the department invited applications from interested private players,” said KC Saini of the district industries department.
KK Pareek, the deputy director (salt) of state industries department in Jaipur, said the government has received 423 applications seeking land allocations for salt units. “The matter is pending for approval by a state-level committee,” he added.
According to the plan, one salt unit will cost Rs 10-15 crore. The project is likely to generate employment for 50,000 people, an official said.
Sixteen units are to be set up in Babarwal village on 1710.8 acre, 10 units in Chandasani village on 958.8 acre, eight units in Dasoriya village on 681.26 acre and four units in Navapura village on 410.8 acre.
The proposal was first made in 2006 during the first tenure of chief minister Vasundhara Raje. BJP legislature from Chohtan, Gangaram Choudhary had moved the proposal before the industries department to explore possibilities of setting up salt industry in Bakhasar.
The state industries department had conducted a detailed survey and reserved 4,020-acre land in the Bakhasar area for salt industry. The government also had made an agreement with a Gujarat-based company for salt production. But with the change of government in 2008, the proposal gathered dust. Recently, when the Raje government started exploring possibilities of inland dry port in Bakhasar area, this decade-old project also came to the fore.
Rajasthan is at third position in salt production. According to official plan, salt produced from Barmer will be exported to Bangladesh, Nepal and Mauritius. Besides, it will also be supplied to Bengal, Bihar, UP, Assam and Delhi in India.
First Published: Jul 20, 2018 22:06 IST