The Rajkot district collector has offered land to Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) on the National Highway 27 on the eastern periphery of city for its proposed milk processing plant.
“Process of finalising the land has been happening for quite a while now and they have taken a field visit as well. We had given them a few options from and they have chosen one. The formal process is going on,” Rajkot District Collector Remya Mohan told The Indian Express Thursday.
The federation has requested 60 acres land for setting up a modern dairy plant at the cost of Rs 500 crore in Rajkot. It will have capacity to process 20 lakh litres milk per day (llpd), the largest in Saurashtra-Kutch, GCMMF officers said. The decision to set up the plant in Rajkot was taken at the meeting of board of directors of GCMFF in September.
“We have offered them government waste land in Anandpur, Navagam and Sokhda villages. Accordingly, we have forwarded the proposal to the office of Rajkot taluka mamlatdar for necessary action. The mamlatdar will subsequently appraise the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM),” resident additional collector of Rajkot, Parimal Pandya said.
Rajkot city-II SDM Charansinh Gohil said the GCMMF has shown interest in a tract of land falling in the revenue jurisdiction of Navagam and Anandpur on the left side of the NH 27. “We have identified that tract for them and after their board makes a sit visit, we will undertake further process,” Gohil said, adding the land was allotted to brick kilns but was forfeited in 2004 after applicants failed to set up brick kilns.
Valamji Humbal, vice-chairman of GCMMF, said the federation will be happy with the plot wherever the government allots in Rajkot.
“For us, setting up a plant in Rajkot is very important as every day, we are incurring cost of around Rs25 lakh every day for transporting around 15 llpd milk from various member unions in Saurashtra-Kutch to the GCMMF plant in Gandhinagar and transporting back processed products back to Saurashtra-Kutch. The milk quality also gets affected due to long transit time,” Humbal said.
“There are dairy unions in Rajkot, Junagadh, Porbandar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Surendranagar, Morbi, Kutch and Jamnagar. Of them, Rajkot, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Surendranagar, Kutch etc have their own processing plants, “ he added.
“But these plants are small which can manufacture 15 to 20 products whereas bigger plants of GCMMF manufacture 200 products. Therefore, a bigger plant is needed for the next stage of growth of dairy sector in Saurashtra. Also, GCMMF plant in Gandhinagar receives milk as far away as Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and runs at its full capacity, “Humbal said.
“Given paucity of land in Gandhinagar, there is little chance of its further expansion. On the other hand, milk procurement in Saurashtra-Kutch has gone up from around seven llpd five years ago to 35 llpd now. GCMMF needs new facility to handle this increased flow,” Humbal added.
“We will be able to make the plant operational within 1.5 years after getting land. It will be an advanced plant with 20 llpd processing capacity. It will be the most advanced dairy of India and would manufacture all products of Amul,” GCMMF managing director (MD) RS Sodhi said.
“The proposed plant in Rajkot will also give GCMMF logistical leverage as it will be near an airport as well as major ports like Mundra and Kandla,” Humbal added. Work is on progress for developing an international airport at Hirasar on NH 27, just a few kilometres away from Anandpur.
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