Dhankuta industrial zone : Land, infrastructure useless as plan fails

DHANKUTA, JAN 18 -

The government’s plan to set up an industrial zone in Atmara, Dhankukta, has been confined to paperwork only and the proposed area has turned into a pasture land. The 64 ropanies of land was declared industrial zone 30 years ago without any feasibility study to manage cottage and small industries.

Over the last three decades, the government has also spent thousands of rupees in the name of feasibility study and construction of pipeline and access road. But the infrastructure developed so far has remained useless.

It has been years since the Cottage and Small Industry Development Board (CSIDB) proposed to establish small and medium industries on the land owned by the Industrial Estate Management Company Limited (IEMCL). “However, we are unable to start work as the land has not been handed over officially,” said CSIDB regional chief Gopal Prasad Sharma. He urged the government to take necessary steps in this regard.

A public school was also proposed on the land some three years ago, but IEMCL refused to provide the land for the purpose and planned to lease it to the board.

Then, the CSIDB, after holding an all-party meeting, decided to allocate Rs 1 million for feasibility study. But the board has failed to conduct any such meeting thereafter.

The industrial estate plan also failed to get approval from the Cabinet. The money allocated for the feasibility study, however, has been spent.

Sharma said they were still hopeful that the industrial zone would be established. Lal Chandra Gongwa Tamang, president of Dhankuta Chamber of Commerce said they were also making efforts develop the industrial zone on the proposed land.

Meanwhile, individuals, whose land was acquired for the purpose, are furious with the government for acquiring their fertile land for nothing. “Our valuable fertile land was acquired at a cheaper price just to turn it into a grazing land,” said Jiva Prasad Pokhrel, a local.

The locals have been demanding that the land be handed over to a social charity organisation. Niranjan Wasti of Dhankuta Multiple Campus said the land could be used for relocating a hospital.

Posted on: 2013-01-18 08:57