In a little over six months beginning February, the Centre has brought out an online database of more than half a million hectares of land assisting industry. The Geographic Information System-enabled database also has details of close to 3,000 industrial parks/clusters, as well as area-wise availability of agricultural/horticultural crops, and mineral production.
The portal will soon incorporate information on warehouses, power-grid and financial institutions as well as the demand for industrial infrastructure captured on the basis of applications from entrepreneurs for projects. The exercise is to eliminate the information asymmetry that is currently adversely affecting the country’s industrial policy-making and investments in the manufacturing sector.
The development comes in the backdrop of the Centre firming up a new industrial and manufacturing policy to push up the contribution of the manufacturing sector in India’s GDP to 25% by 2020 from the current level of about 16%. The aim is to make India a global manufacturing hub and in the process generate employment locally. The details on the database about government-approved technical institutions will indicate the availability of skilled and semi-skilled talent.
At present, the database has mapped 539,501 hectares of land and 2,978 industrial clusters/estates/parks/regions/areas/corridor/zones including Special Economic Zones and National Investment and Manufacturing Zones. The information available online is a beta version and will be updated and upgraded soon.
It currently has specific area-wise details in each state on industrial parks/clusters, the focus sectors, common facilities available for industry, industrial land in use and available industrial land, approved and pending projects, infrastructure including state/national highways, airport, ports and railway stations and electricity, Central/state government incentives, investment/employment-targets and what has been achieved, range of land sale price and lease/rent rates, waste disposal facilities, and contact details of nodal officials.
The database also has information on the distance from airport/port to each industrial area/cluster and a satellite map view of the area.
Data is available on agricultural crops such as fibre crops, food grains, oilseeds, plantation crops, pulses and spices, and horticultural crops, including most fruits and vegetables. Also available are the details of mineral production including that of agate, apatite, bauxite, chromite, copper, diamond, flint stone, fluorite, garnet, gold, graphite, iron ore, kyanite, lead and zinc ore, lead, limeshell, limestone, magnesite, manganese ore, moulding sand, phosphorite, selenite, sillimanite, silver, sulphur, tin, vermiculite, wollastonite and zinc.
The database is being developed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the National e-Governance Division in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as the BISAG – an institute for space applications and geo-informatics under the Gujarat Government.
Shiv Gupta, project officer, DIPP, told The Hindu the success of the project depends on the proactive participation of the state governments. Currently, the states most engaged in the project are Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and to a certain extent, Odisha, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Centre will soon hold workshops with other states to make them understand the importance of the database in attracting investments into the manufacturing sector and boost employment.