New industrial areas in Delhi will only have service-based and hi-tech industrial units, with the Union government amending rules to disallow setting up of manufacturing units in these areas to curb pollution. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the Centre’s decision and thanked Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri.
Stating that the decision will make the city’s industrial areas neat, clean and green, Kejriwal, addressing a webcast, said: “The face of the industrial areas will change. Until now, majorly manufacturing activities were allowed in these industrial areas. There are many types of industrial areas, such as iron, steel, plastic, etc, which are major sources of pollution. As per the new decision, only hi-tech and service industries will be allowed from now on in all new industrial areas in Delhi. No manufacturing activities will be allowed in new industrial areas. The old industries also have the option to switch to the service sector from the manufacturing sector.”
He also said it will stop the flight of such units to neighbouring Noida and Gurgaon: “Now, office owners will not have to shift to different cities and they will be able to avail cheap and spacious locations in these industrial spaces in Delhi itself.”
The contribution of the service sector to Delhi’s economy was 85.19% (at current prices) in 2019-20. Before the rules were amended, while hi-tech industries could be set up in industrial areas, service-based industries were categorised under the category of offices and could be opened only in commercial areas — a costly affair. Consequently, business owners shifted base to Noida or Gurgaon.
The CM said the Delhi government had proposed the changes. According to the notification, “certain modifications, which the Central government proposed to make in the Master Plan for Delhi 2021, were published in the Gazette of India”.
The changes brought about in the Delhi Master Plan-2021 were notified by the ministry on October 29. “New industrial activity in the NCT of Delhi should be restricted to hi-tech areas and service-based industries. These activities shall be permissible in existing industrial areas subject to the payment of infrastructure upgradation charges to be decided and recovered by Authority/ local body concerned…,” said the notification.
These were approved after they were considered by the Board of Enquiry and Hearing, set up by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which comes under the Centre. The city has 29 planned industrial areas in places such as Bawana, Narela, Okhla, Wazirpur, Patparganj and Shahdara among others. The Delhi Statistical Handbook 2019 puts the number of factories in Delhi at 9,121, employing 4.19 lakh workers.
The industrial areas come under the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC). DSIIDC’s plan to set up a new multi-level industrial estate at Rani Khera, a new industrial area at Kanjhawala and a knowledge hub at Baprola has been stuck over the years.
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