Delhi's Rs.1,800 crore industrial park delayed

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) The Delhi government's ambitious Knowledge−Based Industrial Park, which would have a capacity of creating 100,000 skilled jobs in the capital, has been delayed by a year for lack of clearance from the Fire Department, a government official said.

Work at the 77−acre park in northwest Delhi was to start in July, but officials say it may take eight to nine months more as some technical issues have come in the way.

"The Fire Department has raised objections to the proposed height of the factory complex. Delhi's civic agency cannot pass the building plan until the Fire Department approves the project," a Delhi government official told IANS.

According to the official, the cost of the project would be Rs.1,800 crore. However, in 2011 it was pegged at Rs.1,200 crore.

According to officials, the proposed height of the buildings in the park is 26 metres but the Fire Department has cited the National Building Code and objected to the height saying that buildings higher than 18 metres cannot be given clearances.

"When buildings in residential complexes are more than 26 metres high, why cannot we have (such a building)? We have written to the central government. We hope it will get cleared," another official told IANS.

The industrial park will cater to the specific needs of information technology, media, research and development, gems and jewellery and business services.

The Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) under the Delhi government is entrusted with the task of developing the park.

"We hope that the work at the project will start in eight to nine months. The park will cater to the needs of space for the organised service sector. This park will bring development in the city as skilled workers from other states will also come here," a DSIIDC official told IANS.

"This is a big project and such projects do take time as you have to have the clearance of multiple agencies," said the official.

The official said though the building plan of the industrial park is yet to get approved, the layout plan has been cleared by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Delhi Urban Arts Commission and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

"We had many hurdles. For instance, change of land use was an issue. The land which was acquired for the park was for public and semi−public use which had to be converted to industrial use. We had to approach the urban development ministry which granted us the permission," the official added.

A housing unit was also planned in the park, which was objected to by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and delayed the project further.

According to the DDA, a residential complex cannot be built in any industrial area.

"We had written to the urban development ministry for the approval of the housing, which has been granted. Two weeks ago DDA agreed to incorporate the suggestion of DSIIDC of having housing facility in industrial area," the official.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at gaurav.s@ians.in)

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