[More than 25 factory-sheds are ready at Malegaon Mini Textile Park. But, due to unavailability of electricty, they are unable to start production. (ummid.com photo)]
Malegaon: Bizarre it may sound but this is a fact that the Malegaon Mini Textile Park, supposed to be developed by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) as a 'state of art, modern working model' for other textile clusters, does not have electricity, even though about two dozen factories are ready to start production.
Worst, the industrialists, who had booked the MIDC plots and spent over five million rupees each to construct factory-sheds in a hope that they will be provided all the needed amenities without any trouble, are finding no one to listen to their grievances and are left to shuttle from one office to other without any result.
"We applied with all the relevant documents necessary for obtaining new electricity connections in August 2015. But, more than six months on, the MAHAVITARAN of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited is yet to process our applications", Aleem Faizee, Founder Secretary of Malegaon Industries & Manufacturers Association (MIMA) said while talking to ummid.com.
Malegaon Industries & Manufacturers Association (MIMA) was founded in 2007 to work for the establishment a state of the art textile park with modern and high quality shuttleless power looms in Malegaon - the second largest textile cluster in India after Bhiwandi.
With the help of Ministry of Textiles and Textile Commissioner Office Mumbai, MIMA convinced the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to provide the necessary infrastructure to establish a Mini Textile Park at the 15.75 acres of land it had acquired in 1983.
"The land was lying unused ever since the MIDC acquired it in 1983. The MIDC was in fact not sure if it would be able to develop it for industrial activity any time soon. But, we booked the plots and paid full payments to the MIDC for the same even before the layout was ready and in the absence of the necessary infrastructure on the ground", Faizee said.
He said the factory sheds were supposed to be constructed under Ministry of Textiles' Modified Group Workshed Scheme (MGWS), and as soon as the ministry gave its approval in June 2014, the construction was started simultaneously on as many as 19 plots.
"We completed the construction work in record time despite the availability of sufficient water, material shortage and strike by labourers. We also applied for electricity connections well in advance", Faizee said.
"But, now when our factory-sheds are ready and we have also completed all requirements to import the machineries, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited is delaying action on our application", he added.
The Malegaon Mini Textile Park built on 15.75 acres of land has a total of 72 plots. While 60 plots have been allotted to industrialists, 12 plots have been reserved for official use. About one acre of land has also been allotted to the electricity department for construction of sub-station.
Sources at the Regional MIDC office in Nashik revealed to ummid.com that citing lack of funds the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited is yet to complete the land allotment process. It is also learnt that in the absence of sub-station, the MAHAVITARAN has provided electricity connections to 04 industrialists from nearby supply-line but is unable to provide more connections due to excess load.
When contacted, S.G. Patil, Chief Executive Engineer, MIDC Electricity Section, confirmed that the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited is unable to start the construction of sub-station due to lack of funds.
In reply to a question, he said that it is now upon the MIDC to provide the infrastructure and hand it over to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
"As per the rule, it is the responsibility of the MIDC to provide electric connections to plot holders. Since the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited is lacking in funds, the MIDC will provide the infrastructure needed for the sub-station and hand it over to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited", he said.
When asked what the industrialists, who already have their factory-sheds ready, will do till the sub-station is built, Patil could not give any satisfactory reply.