Baddi belt cries for facelift

KUMARHATTI: Even as state has attracted a healthy investment after the announcement of central industrial package in 2003 the infrastructure condition in Baddi industrial belt continued to be a major negative factor for industries. Amidst left trade unions allegations of fearing major exodus by new units after the expiry of package the main challenge before government was now to set up the suitable condition for long term sustenance of industries.

The lack of direct connectivity, industrial and social infrastructure and skilled manpower were some main issues, causing a great deal of concern for industries. The project of rail connectivity to Baddi was still in doldrums. A survey on project has already been done. The project of Chandigarh – Baddi direct road was virtually lying abandoned. This road project was approved by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways under inter state connectivity program.

The widening of Nalagarh- Ropar road has now become a need of the hour as substantial number of new units was coming up along this road. The power availability especially in Nalagarh area is a major problem. Moreover the inadequate augmentation and modernization of Transmission and Distribution (T&D) system for want of funds have caused frequent break downs.

The actual T&D losses were high than the official claims of 20 percent looses due to alleged pilferage of power. The cent percent metering and energy audit should be implemented to monitor the energy supplied to the industrial estates and other users.

The transportation was virtual a nightmare for industries. The truck unions call strike quite often, say majority of industrialists. The truck operators dictate terms at their own will, rued industrialists.

The housing was still a major problem for blue and white collar classes in Baddi belt. The blue collar class has to adjust itself in very poorly available housing facilities . The supervisor and managerial staff have to make daily up downs to places like Pinjore, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

Hiring 70 percent Himachalis was a major headache for any unit management. There was a need to prepare a process for identified the manpower requirements in state industries besides setting up the new institutions as per industries curricula, feel industrialists.

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