BHUBANESWAR: One may get away with any wrongdoing in industrial areas of the state for a price if recent decisions of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco), the nodal land allotment agency for industries, are anything to go by.
The corporation on Friday issued separate circulars, paving way for regularization of encroachments, mutual transfer of land between two lease holders, use of industrial land for non-industrial purposes and diverting land from one industrial activity to another.
According to a circular, the encroachers can get relief by paying three times the industrial land rate, besides occupation charges. However, it comes with a rider. Encroachments on road and drain would not be regularized. The move is likely to benefit some prominent educational institutions against which the government had initiated proceedings for alleged encroachment of land at Chandaka industrial area in the state capital.
Another circular said land allotted for industrial purpose (mirco, small and medium enterprises), but diverted to projects such as educational institutions, hotels and multiplex in industrial areas would also be allowed for a fee. Educational institutions, which have come up in industrial areas, can get relief by paying 1.5 times the prevailing land rate. Hotels and multiplex have to pay 1.5 to 2.5 times the land rate, depending on the location, for such diversions.
A third circular said for change of activity on a land, the lease holders have to pay a penalty of Rs 2,000 for mirco industrial units, Rs 5000 for small and Rs 10,000 for medium industries.
In case of mutual transfer of land between different lease holders without Idco permission, the penalty will be double the normal transfer fee or the differential land premium between initial land rate at which the land was allotted and the prevailing land rate, which ever is higher, an Idco circular said. The decision was taken at Idco board of directors meeting on September 25. A senior Idco officer said the move will provide flexibility and boost industrial and infrastructure growth in the state.
Social campaigners smelled a rat. "It will benefit certain institutions. If encroachments are allowed for a price, it will encourage such illegal activities," said RTI campaigner Pradip Pradhan.