It is a dream shattered for the people of Amballoor as the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) looks out for a new site for the proposed electronics and hardware park originally planned in this idyllic panchayat near Piravom.
The district administration and the panchayat are, however, unaware of the move coming as it does after a couple of crores were spent on completing the survey of 390-odd acres identified for the project and obtaining the consent letter of the landowners concerned.
The proposed world class park was estimated to draw Rs. 6,000 crore through manufacturing and assembling of electronic equipment ranging from television, refrigerator, washing machine, computer to mobile handsets and by attracting companies in the semiconductor and electronic components sector.
KSIDC sources told The Hindu on Friday that while the project was on, it had to be moved out of Amballoor as the land identified was water-logged and could not be reclaimed as per the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act. Search is on for an alternative site in Kochi. The project was caught in a stalemate for more than a year over getting exemption from the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act. The State Level Approval Committee had once rejected the proposal for reclamation of the land on the ground that it was identified as paddy field in revenue records.
However, Amballoor panchayat president K.F. Kuriakose claimed that the land has not been cultivated for more than 30 years.
“The Nelvayal Nireekshana Samithi (Paddy field monitoring committee) of the panchayat had undertaken a study and submitted a report to the district collector.
The people are livid about the delay in the execution of the project despite being one of the rare projects having the support of all political parties and landowners concerned. I have petitioned the government about the delay. The topography of the land is also favourable necessitating minimal relocation of families needs to be relocated,” he told The Hindu before learning about the move to shift out the project.