Demand strengthens to put Grasim land to better use

Mavoor Grama Panchayat to lead protest

March 19, 2022 01:48 pm | Updated 03:03 pm IST - Kozhikode

Trees and shrub have taken over the site where the massive factory of Grasim Industries stood at Mavoor. File photo

Trees and shrub have taken over the site where the massive factory of Grasim Industries stood at Mavoor. File photo

The residents of Mavoor in Kozhikode are done with the long wait for something useful to happen at the 400 acres of land that belonged to the erstwhile Gwalior Rayons (Grasim Industries). A meeting convened by the grama panchayat recently decided to take matters forward through intense protests and political intervention.

It has been 20 years since the factory shut down as a result of widespread protests on grounds of the pollution it had caused. Since then the local people have been asking for a non-polluting industry to come up in the now vacant land. But nothing has materialised so far.

“Of the 400 acres, 250 acres were acquired by the State government and were handed over to Grasim Industries. Most of us had contributed land, back in 1964 for the company that provided employment to around 50,000 people”, said P. Ummer, president, Mavoor Grama Panchayat, who had recently chaired an all party meeting, involving traders and other stakeholders as well, to discuss an action plan for the Grasim land.

“We want the company to either start a new industry there or hand over the land back to the government. If neither can think of something, we have well educated people in this Panchayat who are eager to start an industry, if only they had enough land”, Mr. Ummer said.

Meanwhile, the land in question is now covered with overgrown trees and shrubbery. “We requested the company several times to clean up the plot, but to no effect. Drug deals and even murders are taking place in that plot where the grama panchayat has no access to”, the anchayat president said.

Mavoor once used to be the panchayat with the highest revenue in Kozhikode district. With the factory shut down and curbs on sand mining, it is now seeking revenue through tourism projects.

The scarcity of land has resulted in proposals for two major educational institutions slipping out of its hands and the panchayat thinks that access to the Grasim land will be a solution to most of its troubles.

The panchayat, with other stakeholders now plans to send memorandum to all ministers and MPs, apart from conducting a march to the Grasim office to press its demand.

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