Himachal SEZs Not On Agricultural Land – Dhumal

Vidhan Sabha Question Hour

Shimla: The Himachal government has in principal decided that agricultural land would not be acquired for setting up any Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and only barren or unfertile land could be used for the purpose, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal stated in the Vidhan Sabha today.

In response to a question by Rakesh Kalia and Surinder Bharadwaj (both Congress) during question hour the chief minister said that the the Infrastructure Development Board (IDB) in July 2006 had decided to set up a SEZ in Una. In Aug 2006 the state chief secretary as chairman of IDB did write a letter to the central government that the state was ready to set up a SEZ at Una, he mentioned.

The company that had come forth with the proposal had four essential components which included an airport and involved 1094 acres of private fertile land. The state government did not take any action on the matter,” said Dhumal.

The chief minister said that he did not know what the people Gagret, where the SEZ was proposed, were agitated about. It is probably the same set of people who had stalled the setting up a proposed sugar mill in the area, he added.

Dhumal said that an airport of international standards was needed by the state but it would only come up with the consent of the people because the government was for minimum displacement of people in any given project.

The chief minister assured the house that least number of people would be displaced in construction of an airport in Una. The proposed Una airport would have hanger facilities for maintenance of aircraft and would include landing facilities for 380 seater aircrafts.

Presently there are three airports in the state at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu and there was no proposal to set up new airports at Chamba or Banikhet, he said. The Airport Authority of India had done a survey for a airport at Ner-Dhangu and a techno-economic feasibility study was yet to be finalized. Construction of an airport at Ner-Dhangu would be considered if the site selected was found to technically viable, said Dhumal.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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12 Comments

  1. says: Sheetal Mohan Sharma

    Mr Ravinder, Thanks for the much sought after update on this topic. I belong to Gagret and have visited my home town 3 days back. There has been lot of discussion going on this topic. At this forum I thought of sharing my opinions and let the people of Himachal know what is really going on in minds residents of Gagret.

    First of all, the assumption that 90% people of Gagret are against this SEZ proposal is utterly baseless and false. Most of the people are in favor of this development and support government for the same.

    Secondly, it is the PRO failure from government and media end. The confusion is due to lack of information about this SEZ and airport project. People don’t know how much land will be acquired, where it be acquired, what all will be constructed apart from proposed airport. The half baked information is adding to chaos and PRO had failed miserably here. The chut-bhaiya’s are making best use of this opportunity for their political benefits. The people who oppose this are trying to appease their political bosses so that they can get some benefit for them in coming years.

    I don’t see press working independently here. Last week there were few people who met the CM at Shimla and the news was “95% of people are against SEZ” which is not true. To some extent this is due to lack to transparency of system as well.

    The land the government is planning to acquire land that spans from Gagret (Starting from Shiv Bari) to village Ghanari. It will be 8828 kanals needed for Airport only. Some of this land also belongs to government which is in possession of people who are making cry about this project. They are scared of this so they trying to save their skin by opposing this SEZ. 400 kanals of this land has been acquired by a lawyer who is very vocal is opposing this.

    We all know what are the pros and cons of a SEZ and what can go wrong while acquiring land. People should be compensated well; they should be given lands in other areas. We can not have landless people as Una belt is good in agriculture. Government can involve local people and youth in development activities. Most important people should be passed information about the proposed project. If people are taking about pollution, government can talk about non-polluting industries like IT and ITES. Let not go back, we have good things in out way. Progress and opportunity in our way, lets catch the fast moving development train and move ahead.

    1. says: maini kumar

      According to me himachal is aid base state who totally really on center govt. govt must take interest in sez to improve the state revenue and it also help the poor to rise up………

  2. says: a chakerverty

    we need sez which is most essential for our poor people to get progess in their lifebcoz villager have not know the defination of sez some culrid called(dalls) exployedto public so its most essential start early to early this project.

  3. says: NITYIN

    I think the govt must act wisely here and not let Una happen to be another Singur. The Congress in the opposition is looking to settle scores after the BJP scuttled the Himalayan Ski project. In case the opposition to the project increases the govt must look into re-locating the entire project. Mr. Dhumal will have zero opposition in my view if the project is shifted to the neighbouring Hamirpur distt. The SEZ and the investments in the long term will help in improving infrastucture of the area.

    Let this be an example for the people opposing the SEZ and let them rue for missing the bus.

  4. says: ritesh

    People rejecting the airport are only looking at their short term losses. For himachal to come up it needs good road/airport etc. An airport will make una a centre point for all the trade of the whole region.

    There is a big list of gains which can be listed. But can we name an area in the world where a particular area has lost in the long term where a new airport has been built?

  5. says: aurobind chakerverty

    i,aurobind chakerverty is the gagret block president of I N T U C to call meeting with poor permanent villagers of gagret block to discuss about SEZ in gagret area and decided that people should be compensated well as on another part they will be oblized by jobs in sez also and sir i want to tell you one thing that who the people are agitating they are just making thier political platform and i think you as a chief minister u must have to stop that and sir whosoever the peoples are agitating they have aquired government lands most of the people demand that it should be done as earlier you can .

  6. says: vivek lau

    sir my self vivek lau highly appreciat the progress of chief minister mr. dhumal for sez project this project would be the manchester for the people of gagret if company will compensate well to people to acquire their land &provide work jobs,given lands in other areas most important thing is to govt. or company must be provide the information about the proposed project. 90%people need development rest 10% are the exployed the inocient villagers.

  7. says: Pradeep Dewan

    Hi, Mr. Ravinder Makhaik, sir, Thanks for showing interest on this topic of airport project in Gagret constituency. I Pradeep Dewan, living in Chandigarh from last many years and my native village is Deoli in Gagret const. When I visited my village last month on the ocassion of Diwali, I come to know about this project. I feel very proud & happy that our areas are also coming in this project. And if this project start I am sure that lots of people will get job in this project. There is no lack of education facility but lack of employment in our Distt. Only few industries are establishing there but not paying sufficient rewards to employees according to their ability. So that people are forced to leave their village and going to Punjab. Our paternal land are also coming under this project but we are happy that if we leaves this land for project, lot of youth will get job there and they will not to be forced to leave their mother land as we have left. But my feelings also hurt when I come to know that some peoples whose unauthorized land coming under this project are against to this project because they will not get any compensation from govt., but they are forgetting that their wards will get opportunity to work there and also leave with near to dear. I stronglly in favor of this project so that our area name also flashed & known in India and abroad.

  8. says: DHEERAJ LATH

    DEAR ALL,
    I BELONG TO DHUSSARA IN UNA DISTRICT.I DONT KNOW WHEN THE PEOPLE OF OUR REGION WILL BECOME WISE??GOVERNMENT IS GIVING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVELOPMENT BUT THESE ARE NOT READY.
    PROPOSED AIRPORT WILL OPEN A NUMBER OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE REGION.
    INFRASTRUCTURE WILL DEFINITELY RAISE THE STANDAERD OF LIVING OF THE PEOPLE ,A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES WILL STATRT FLOURISHING IN THE REGION STARTING FROM TOURISM EDUCATION MEDICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND UNA WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED ON WORLD’S MAP.PEOPLE WILL NOT HAVE TO LEAVE FOR JOBS IN OTHER NEBOURING STATES AND WILL REMAIN CLOSE TO THEIR FAMILIES.A LOT OF OTHER FACILITIES WILL STATRT OPEARTING IN OUR REGION AND ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT WILL START THAT WILL HELP TO GIVE BOOM TO BUSINESS IN THE REGION.

  9. says: DHEERAJ LATH

    DEAR ALL,
    TRANSPORT TODAY IS THE LIFELINE OF PEOPLE.CONNECTING UNA TO AIRPORT WILL MAKE CONNECTIVITY OF PEOPLE TO OTHER STAES AT A SHORT TIME.LET THE GOVERNMENT COMPENSATE PEOPLE WELL DONT OPPOSE THE IDEA OF AIRPORT AT UNA.I REQUEST THE CM TO INTERVENE IN THE MATTER AND START DEVELOPING THE STATE AND WE CAN BOAST OF WORLD CLASS FACILITIES,INFRASTRUCTURE IN OUR STATE SO THAT TOURITS COMES TO THE STATE AGAIN AND AGAIN AND REVENUE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT INCREASES FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE.
    WE SHOULD ALWAYS SEE FORWARD FOR OUR FUTURE AND NOT STICT TO OUR PAST OR PRESENT.

    GEAR UP TO GIVE UR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATION A TASTE OF WORLD CLASS FACLITIES AND AMENTIES THAT WE HAVE ONLY DREAMT OF.
    GIVE UR SUPPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE AIRPORT……AND SEE THE DEVELOPMENTS OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND STATE AND BE A PART OF THIS DEVELOPMENT AS THIS WILL ALSO GIVBE DEVELOPMENT TO EASCH OF US.

  10. says: raman parmar

    as per the news. Sez the first right step by the himanchal goverment.
    it should be not avoid by the local people.
    these are few fake political peaple not like to let there illegal land gone.
    govt should find out the people with legal docs and give them proper awairness for job oppertunity and devlopment after sez.

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