UNTIL 2008, Yash Paul, an industrialist who manufactures sports and fitness equipment, tried hard to get extra land in the city for expansion. But after failing to acquire land, he shifted to Himachal Pradesh where, according to him, his business is flourishing now.
“I shifted to Baddi in 2008 and now we are doing well. We have started sending our material across India,” says Paul, owner of Rama Sports and Fitness Industry, which was started in Chandigarh in 1996. “The land was not available in Chandigarh and if we would get land, the price was very high. So we had to move to a new place.”
Of late, according to him, most of the industrialists have started shifting to neighbouring cities, as they are not getting enough land to expand their units. “Everyone wants to flourish. But if your industry is located in the city, you won’t succeed, because there are issues,” says Paul.
S K Harjani, president of Chandigarh Industries Association, says that around 30 out of 100 members in the association have shifted their base to the adjacent areas. Most of the industrialists are now shifting to the adjacent areas like Baddi, Dera Bassi and Mohali.
Harjani explains why these industries are not ready to stay back in Chandigarh. “In 1979, I got this plot and I couldn’t expand since then, because the government is not providing extra land. There is a scarcity of space,” he says. “Now people are shifting their base because they are facing problems.” He says that it is difficult for the industrialists to survive, as the government is not increasing the floor land area in the city. “The government recently increased the misuse penalty. They have to take steps if they want to save this industry.”
He adds, “We recently had two meetings with the advisor and home secretary. We are hopeful that they will do something for us.”
Official figures show till the end of September, as many as 1,437 units were registered with the Chandigarh Industries Department. Out of them, there are 1,263 micro, 169 small and five medium industries. “These registrations are both offline and online,” said a department official.
While the industrial associations say that their condition is not good, the industries department says all is well with the industry in the city. “I don’t think there is any problem with the industries here,” says Director (UT Industries) Satish Kumar Jain. “They are working normally.”
On the industrial units leaving the city, he says, “It could be personal reasons because of which they are moving to other places. Yes, the land is not there, but the administration is providing all the help.”
Jain says that he sees a good future for the industry. “We have a good future. The recent policy will definitely help the people, and it will bring transparency and clarity in the system,” he says, adding that the city has a limited area available for the industrial sector.