Clamour among industrial areas in the city after Electronics City gets the tag

With the government issuing a notification for the formation of the Electronics City Industrial Township Authority, there is clamour among the other industrial areas in the city for a similar status. Prominent among them is the Peenya Industrial Area (PIA).

Such a status allows industry representatives to form a body along with government representatives that is empowered to collect revenue, utilising 70 per cent of it for the area’s maintenance.

The other industrial areas, whose applications are pending, are expected to bring pressure on the government for the industrial authority tag. Industry representatives for long have complained that people’s representatives don’t pay enough attention to the infrastructure requirements of industrial areas.

Ravi Basavaraju, president of Peenya Industries Association, said PIA had submitted its proposal seeking industrial township status nearly 10 years ago. The proposal is still pending before the Cabinet.

“PIA has around 8,000 small and micro industries and as many as 30 large and medium industries. The area abounds with civic problems. If it is declared as a township, we can govern ourselves.” he said.

Several industries associations have welcomed the move and aver that the government should give the township status to three or four other industrial areas, even if it is on a pilot basis. K. Shiva Shanmugam, president of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), told The Hindu the federation had for long been urging the government to clear the formation of these industrial townships. He said that after monitoring the functioning of these townships over a period of two or three years, the government can then decide on the model to be emulated across the State.

‘Accessible, unlike politicians’

Claiming that the authority would be “accessible to the people, unlike the local MLAs and councillors,” he said the local authority was only collecting taxes and had failed to provide adequate infrastructure facilities. “There are many other industrial areas, such as Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Whitefield and Bommasandra, which can be declared as townships. The local industrial associations will know how best to improve the area to their benefit, while the government or the local authority will be relieved of the problem of maintaining the area,” he said.

Sources in the Urban Development Department told The Hindu Electronics City was declared a township under Section 364 of the Karnataka Municipalities Act 1964. The authority will have five members from the Electronic City Industries’ Association and five members from the various government departments. Asked about the pending applications from the other industrial areas seeking township status, the official said the applications will first be sent to the Industries Department. “After reviewing the proposal, it is then sent to the Urban Development Department. Township status is given depending on various factors, including the number of residents inside the industrial area,” the official added.

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