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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Punjab: Mattewara project scrapped, now concern over losing investment rises

The Centre has to allot seven textile parks to various states, including Punjab in the first phase and a land measuring 927 acres was identified at Mattewara.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
July 21, 2022 8:45:53 am
Punjab: Mattewara project scrapped, now concern over losing investment risesMattewara forest in Ludhiana. (Express File)

DAYS after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced to scrap the textile park project near Mattewara forest following protests by ecologists and environment activists, the state government is concerned that it may lose the central project worth Rs 1,000 crore.

The Centre has to allot seven textile parks to various states, including Punjab in the first phase and a land measuring 927 acres was identified at Mattewara. The land was also inspected by the Union ministry of textiles in May this year and had suggested another connecting road apart from the existing one. With the CM announcing that the government would scrap the project at Mattewara, it is in the process of identifying another piece of 1,000 acres in the state elsewhere.

Sources in the Union ministry of textiles said that the government has yet not informed the Centre officially about the CM’s announcement to scrap the project. For now, they were working on providing the textile park at Mattewara only.

Sources in the Punjab government said that the issue was discussed at the state government level. The meeting, it is learnt, discussed that the CM’s announcement had created an impression that the state did not need the project at all.

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“While, on the other hand, Punjab needs this project. This is an investment of Rs 1,000 crore that promises employment avenues for scores of youths besides strengthening our textile sector, concentrated at Ludhiana. That is why Mattewara area was chosen as the site for the park,” said a functionary of the government.

He added that the state government was now identifying another site. “We have 1700 acres of Guru Nanak Thermal Plant at Bathinda, where former Finance Minister Manpreet Badal had pushed for a pharmaceutical park. Then we have 800 acres in Gobindpura in Mansa. Let us see what gets finalised. But we certainly cannot give this impression that we do not want this investment.”

Another functionary said that the debt ridden state needed investment especially when the government did not want to burden the residents with more taxes. “The CM has been able to convey a message politically. Yet, we cannot let go of our investment. We will need such projects.”

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Punjab is in competition with 13 states to have applied for textile parks in 17 different cities. Punjab is likely to get the project in the first phase under which seven parks are to be set up. The other states that are eyeing the park include Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Maharasthra.

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First published on: 21-07-2022 at 08:45:53 am

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