The labour rates and the cost of building material has shot up in the Bawana, Narela, Badli, Patparganj and Jhilmil industrial areas as construction activity has picked up there following a Delhi Government notice asking all the allottees given plots under the relocation of industries to shift to the area or face forfeiture of plots.

Government sources said in mid-September the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation had issued a notice giving 45 days time to such allottees to shift their units from non-conforming and residential areas to the allotted sites in Bawana, Narela, Badli, Patparganj and Jhilmil industrial areas.

It had stated that the process of giving possession of plots to these units had commenced in 2001 with the direction to close their industrial units at the old sites and shift to the new sites after construction the factory buildings thereon.

But while 16,300 plots had been allotted in all these sites put together only about half of the allottees had constructed on them.

Following the notice, however, construction activity has picked up rapidly in these areas as the allottees now fear losing their plots which had been allotted to them at Rs.4,200 per sq.m. but where the market rate is now over 10 times more.

A Delhi Government official said construction activity on about 3,000 plots has started following the notice and due to such hectic pace of construction the labour rate for construction has almost doubled from about Rs.40 per square foot to Rs.80 per square foot while the cost of material such as sand, cement and iron has also gone up between 10 and 20 per cent.

As the last date for compliance with the notice was October 31, a member of an entrepreneurship association said the allottees want the Government to extend the date. Since the Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V. K. Malhotra had also raised this demand, it appears that a lenient view would be taken of the violations.

But on the other hand, those in the waiting list for the plots are happy with the issuance of notice as now there is a chance for them to be allotted a plot, provided the cancellations start.

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