How ‘industrial’ Greater Noida became residential

July 25th, 2011 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Greater Noida, July 25 (IANS) It was set up by the Uttar Pradesh government to promote industrial development in this region, but the last company to be set up under the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) was in 1998. Since then there have been more residential complexes coming up in what should have an industrial zone.

The Greater Noida region in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautambudh Nagar district is dominating news space these days due to the number of land acquisition deals being struck down by both the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court. The courts said the GNIDA, set up in the 1990s, showed undue haste in taking over land, ostensibly to set up industries. However, the land was sold to private builders at much high rates.

“We had stated this fact in a meeting with the chief secretary last year. This is the eleventh year in a row that no big unit has been set up here,” Association of Greater Noida Industries (AGNI) vice-president Aditya Ghildiyal told IANS.

Moser Baer was the last company to be set up here around 1998. Prior to it, Honda Siel and LG opened their plants. Denso, Asian Paints, Daewoo and Yamaha are some of the major units operating in the area.

“Greater Noida was supposed to have 75 percent industries and 25 percent houses for providing accommodation to the workers. But now the trend is reversed. There are even less than 25 percent industries and more than 75 percent multi-storey residential complexes,” he said.

“On our persuasion, a French MNC giant had agreed to set up a plant here. We kept asking for time from the chairman of the authority, but he never gave us an appointment,” Ghildiyal said.

Asked about the lack of industries, GNIDA’s chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman told IANS: “You will appreciate that the whole world is under economic and industrial recession. How can industrial acceleration be achieved?”

Perhaps aware of the lack of industrial development, the state government formed another agency, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority. But experts say the remedy is worse than the disease.

“If industries are not coming to Greater Noida, who would go to the Yamuna Expressway area, which is 15 km away from here? They should have first developed Greater Noida itself,” a senior office bearer of AGNI said, requesting anonymity.

Besides manufacturing units, even knowledge-based companies are reluctant to set up shop in Greater Noida.

In a sign of lack of confidence in officialdom, Wipro and a couple of other units stopped work on developing their facilities.

Apart from land acquisition issues, the law and order situation too has contributed to making the business environment hostile.
While industries have always complained of an unsafe environment here, a recent attempt to kidnap some senior management officials of Japanese MNC Hongo, living in the NRI City project here, made the companies even more panicky.

“Among the existing units, a big South Korean MNC has already set up its alternative facility in Pune and is facing trouble here. A section of Delphi factory is on the verge of being shut because of internal labour issues and other concerns,” Ghildiyal said, adding that even US motor major General Motors opted for Pune instead of Greater Noida to set up its unit.

(S.P. Singh can be contacted at spsinghg@gmail.com)

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