GUJRAT: Two hundred acres land has been identified for establishment of phase II of the Gujrat Industrial Estate; however, the process for its acquisition is yet to start.

The land, identified by the land revenue department, is located in three villages of Saroki, Chak Qazian and Sheikh Qureshian along the bank of Upper Jhelum Canal, the official sources said.

The business community has been demanding the phase II of the industrial area for the last three decades. The process had begun in 1992 but the project could not be executed due to resistance by the farmers and litigation over the land earlier identified near Deona Mandi along the GT Road. However, this time authorities have changed the location of the project as per the wish of Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GtCCI).

A large number of manufacturers of electric fans, pottery, furniture and its allied vendors have been operating in the residential areas of Gujrat city, causing a great deal of inconvenience to the residents as well as polluting the environment.

The government has approved a sum of Rs1.3bn for the establishment of a new industrial area on recommendation of Federal Minister for Water Resources Chaudhry Moonis Elahi and a sum of Rs400m has also been allocated in the development budget of the current fiscal year, showing a seriousness of the government to execute the project.

An official of Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) told Dawn the project’s design had been sent to the Planning & Development Department that would present it in the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) meeting as per procedure. He added that the local associations of various industries and the GtCCI had already been asked to submit their proposals about the size of required plots and other facilities. Initial discussions suggested that the industrial plots sizing between one, two and four kanals and 10 marlas might be designed, the official said and added that the prices of plots were yet to be fixed.

It is learnt the pottery sector’s units would be given a dedicated area close to the disposal station for an easy disposal of their waste as the existing industrial area has been facing severe problems due to disposal of their waste through sewerage that remains often choked due to it.

As per the design of project, a 60 foot wide road will be constructed in the area whereas its main boulevard will be 200 feet wide.

At least 70pc of the acquired land may be used for plots and rest will be utilised for other infrastructural and the amount approved for the scheme will mainly be used for land acquisition, boundary wall and other necessary works whereas other infrastructural development may require more funds.

The government has set the target of two years to complete the project.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021

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