industrial-township-2The Thane Belapur Road that seemed to be very close to attaining the Industrial Township might just once again be in for disappointment. As far as the state is concerned, industrial township consent looks like a distant dream. Earlier this year, the industrialists were jubilant when sources from the Urban Development Ministry informed them that the Ministry has sent a letter to NMMC that the NOC from NMMC might just not be needed to give the TTC MIDC area the status of an industrial township. It is very well known that one of the main reasons that the TTC MIDC area was not being given the status of an Industrial Township was because of the political muscle that came in between. Then came speculations that with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infocomm on one side and Mukesh Ambani’s Life Science Center on the other, financial power would win over the political muscle power and the Thane Belapur Belt would finally get a life. But the chances of an industrial township seem to be dim once again. The State Industries Minister Ashok Chavan has clearly stated that the NOC clause is only for areas coming under the jurisdiction of the gram panchayat and not municipal corporation area. Throwing further light he said that as far as the Thane Belapur Belt, they are contemplating whether a similar policy decision should be formed or not. India is a land of the great acharya Vinobha Bhave who started the extraordinary and unprecedented movement – the Bhoodan Movement. Over a period of twenty years, he walked through the length and breadth of India persuading landowners and landlords to give a total of four million acres of land to the poor and downtrodden. This movement brought Vinobha to the international scene. And in the land where he was born, the state government is grabbing land from poor farmers to hand it over to private business giants for SEZs. Not to forget this is the same state that has taken more than 15 years to contemplate an industrial township policy for the desi industries but makes decision overnight in matters of SEZs – the modern East India Co. And so the hopes of employment opportunities for skilled workers without any political interference and reviving the once known Golden Belt of Asia has again become a distant dream.


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