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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Though the State government is planning to cash in on the much awaited ‘Make In Odisha’ conclave scheduled to begin here from Wednesday, to prominently place the State in the industrial belt of the country, it is able to create about 36,000 acre of land bank, of the one lakh acre land it had targeted in April this year.

Official sources said, the State government through its infrastructure development arm Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) had filed requisition for government land measuring 1,16,000 acre of land under the Land Bank scheme in different districts. Of these 94,000 acre has been found suitable, while only 4,615 acre of land has been prioritised under category-A for sanction of lease in favour of industrial bodies.

“In Category-B around 32,166 acre of land is reserved at the district level for industrial purpose and the remaining are in the processing stage”, said Susanta Kumar Mohanty, CGM (land), IDCO.

Of the 4,615 acre, around 2,500 acre of land has been allotted to several units who have evinced interest to set up plants, the official stated. Mohanty said investors are keen on downstream and auxiliary units especially in Khurda, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Rourkela regions. Logistics, textile and apparel, and gems and jewellery are the sectors the investors want to explore in the State.

At a time when the State has witnessed withdrawal of big ticket projects in the recent past like ArcellorMittal and Posco, due to several hurdles including facilitation of land, the State government’s ‘lackadaisical’ approach in creation of land bank has surprised many.

“It is purely due to issues involved in acquisition of land both the big companies have stepped back from their projects. Had both the units come up by this time, the scenario of Odisha would have been something different. The State government didn’t learn from its mistakes”, said an industry expert on condition of anonymity.
“If it (State government) is planning for a mega event like this, huge preparation is needed to showcase the State’s huge potential. In case of non-mineral sectors also, land is the primary thing”, he noted.

In April, aiming to ease the prolonged process of land acquisition for industries, the State government had set a target to complete acquisition of 100,000 acre of land for industrial projects by June end this year. Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary (industries) and chairman, IDCO had urged all district collectors to complete the process by the end of June.

Earlier this month, Odisha slipped by four places, from seventh to eleventh, in the Government of India's ‘ease of doing business’ rankings. This comes at a time when the state is working hard to woo investors through Make In Odisha, the state's biggest showpiece event for investments.

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