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Gateway to development

Print edition : Jul 27, 2007 T+T-

Interview with Mohan Lal Roy, Managing Director, AIADA.

SUHRID SANKAR CHATTOPADHYAY

Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority (AIADA) has been instrumental in the industrialisation of Adityapur and its surrounding areas. Mohan Lal Roy, in this interview with Frontline, speaks of the major projects that the AIADA has undertaken.

What is the scope and function of the AIADA?

First, I would like to speak of the purpose for which the AIADA was established. The State government created this body, under the Industrial Area Development Authority Act, to promote industries, acquire land for industrial projects, and develop infrastructure such as roads, water supply, electricity, and communication to facilitate industrial development in the area. So far we have acquired 3,186 acres [1289.32 hectares] of land and of this 2,923 acres have already been developed for industrial purposes; around 206 acres are unsuitable for development.

We have carved out 1,241 plots of land for setting up industries. A total of 791 industries have been set up in this area, including 11 large-scale industries like Usha Martin, 64 medium-scale industries, 550 small-scale industries, and 166 tiny industries. These industrial projects provide employment to about 27,000 people. The unskilled workers are from the locality as are 50 per cent of the semi-skilled and skilled employees of the industries.

We also have institutions such as the Indo Danish Tool Room and the State Polytechnic Institution, which impart mechanical training and skills to the local people. It is the young in particular who benefit from these institutions. After their training they are mostly absorbed into the industries coming up in the region. One of our objectives is to train local youth in these institutions. Mostly, those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are encouraged to join these institutions, and the AIADA provides scholarships to meritorious students.

What are the thrust areas that you have identified for the AIADA?

The market is very important for entrepreneurs, and Tata Motors and Tata Iron and Steel Company are the biggest customers of the small-scale industries in the region who manufacture and supply small parts required by these two companies. There are other small industries that manufacture fibre, plastic, bulbs, which find a market both within the State and outside. It is the promotion of these small-scale industries that we are focussing on.

What are the important ongoing industrial projects currently under the AIADA?

We have quite a few important projects coming up. One of them is a city centre. We have earmarked around 20 acres of land for this centre, which will include a mall, modern shopping complexes, a multiplex, etc. It will be the first of its kind in the State.

Though industries have grown substantially in the region, there is no corresponding growth in social infrastructure such as health care, commercial complexes, and shopping arcades. The city centre will largely address this shortcoming. The mall will come up within the industrial area facing the Tata Kandra Main Road. The next big project is the construction of a new bridge over the Kharkai river linking Jamshedpur and Adityapur. The existing bridge is very old and cannot sustain heavy traffic for too long, particularly when, with rapid industrialisation, there is much increase in the traffic of large vehicles. So we have decided to construct a new four-lane bridge over the Kharkai to ensure communication remains unimpeded.

Another important project is the setting up of the Urban Haat. It will be a marketplace of sorts for the benefit of the common people. This is part of our commitment to improve the quality of life in the villages around Adityapur. The Haat will be on a seven-acre plot of land where the village craftsmen and weavers can sell their handicrafts and handloom products directly to customers. The Haat will have facilities like restaurants, sale kiosks and exhibition space to attract tourists and people from nearby towns. It will not just be a maketplace but a leisure spot as well. An open-air amphitheatre is also proposed at the Urban Haat premises, where traditional dance and music performances will entertain visitors.

We are also setting up an SEZ for automobiles and auto components. So far, the area has only units that provide automobile parts to Tata Motors, but with the setting up of the Special Economic Zone we can promote and increase auto exports from the region. This will be set up on 90 acres of land. The Jamshedpur Utilities Services Company and Gammon Consortium have been selected as the private developers of this SEZ. Besides, we are inundated with requests from investors for land to set up industries. So, we have decided to acquire an additional 1,800 acres in nearby villages. The land will be mostly used for setting up small industries.

Are you facing any kind of opposition while acquiring land?

Actually, nothing so far. We are carefully selecting land without habitation so that nobody gets displaced. Moreover, with the handsome compensation, we do not foresee any serious reaction from the farmers' side. But then, the same cannot be said of political parties that are forever on the lookout for gains and ready to make an issue out of nothing and cause trouble.

With so many industries coming in, what are you doing about pollution control?

We have set up a district-level committee. Moreover, the regional officer of the Pollution Control Board has his office in Adityapur, which keeps a watch on the pollution levels. The AIADA itself has tied up with the Jharkhand Infrastructure Development Corporation (JINFRA) to set up an effluent treatment plant. This is still in the planning stage. We also plan to set up a system for solid waste management. JINFRA has already appointed an agency to carry out a survey for these two projects.

Apart from providing scholarships to meritorious students, what other social projects does the AIADA involve itself in?

We are organising sports activities in and around Adityapur. The AIADA has set up its own football team that is playing at the state level, we hope it will go even further. We have selected 35 youth for the football team and they are mostly workers from the industries in Adityapur.