Residents want a park, but CM sees a manufacturing hub

Updated - September 23, 2016 01:59 am IST

Published - January 21, 2016 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Much to the disappointment of the residents of West Delhi’s Mundka and Kirari constituencies, the Delhi government seems determined to continue with its proposal of building a multi-storey manufacturing hub at Rani Khera. The residents met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to protest against constructing the manufacturing hub, but returned disgruntled as they were told the decision is unlikely to be scrapped for it is aimed at “generating employment.”

A delegation representing residents of these areas met Mr. Kejriwal recently demanding that the 147-acre land, now used as a playground by the locals, be developed into a bio-diversity park. “Unfortunately, the meeting was not a positive one as the CM cited that the project was important for generation of employment,” said Diwan Singh, an environment activist who is leading the campaign for locals of the area.

A petition with over 5,000 signatures including those of MLAs from Mundka and Kirari was also submitted to Mr. Kejriwal during the meeting. “Mr Kejriwal, however, said that he would convene a mohalla sabha on the issue to gauge the public mood on the issue,” added Mr Singh.

According to the government’s proposal, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) is to build an “Industries Park” on the land, which has already been acquired by the corporation for the purpose. The main complex is likely to be a mega 60-storey building which would be let out to a host of companies.

Although conceived during the Congress government under Sheila Dikshit, the project assumes significance since it has a high potential for employment as well as revenue generation. Providing jobs to city dwellers, especially the youth, has been a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Speaking about the scope of the jobs that would be created, a senior government official said, “The anticipated worker participation rate is expected to be about 39 per cent by 2021 making the likely work force to above 3,82,000 persons. Through this we seek to promote non-polluting, knowledge based, high-technology and skilled industries which would keep migration of unskilled labour to Delhi to a minimum.”

The residents had requested Mr. Kejriwal to shift the project to a 300-acre vacant land in Khajhawla, which was again shot down by the government. “Village Rani Khera where the industrial hub is planned is within close proximately to prominent residential areas of North West Delhi like Rohini, Pitampura and Mundka making it easy for people of the area to work there once it is ready. There is no need to be worried as it would be a state-of-the-art complex with adequate green spaces,” added the official.

Estimated to be built at a cost of Rs.3,098 crore, the ambitious park, if built, will boast of multiple state-of-the-art manufacturing hubs, hospitals, dispensaries, recreational areas, commercial centres, etc. The industrial area will consume nearly 60 per cent of the 147-acre land.

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