Mahendra Thapa

Rupandehi, January 21

Butwal Industrial Area Industry Association (BIAIA) and the office of the Industrial Area Management Ltd (IAML), Butwal feel weak management has led to the imbalanced allocation of land in the BIAIA

Old industries in BIAIA have occupied more land than assigned to them. At the same time, new industries are not finding any space to set up shop. According to the sources, the extra land occupied by old industries is being used for horticulture and vegetable cultivation.

Concerned authorities say industries including Lumbini Milk Distribution Project (LMDP) are wasting important land areas by clinging on to additional areas. Accepting the land has been superfluous for some industries. Singhanawal Rup Singh Bista of IAML informs that most industries have not heeded to repeated requests to return such surplus land.

According to Bista, Narayan Sharma of Metal Craft Factory, handed back six ropanis of land after frequent calls. Insiders inform that Sharma has kept seven and half ropanis of land while he uses only five ropanis of land. The remaining land area is being used as agricultural land. LMDC has occupied 14 ropanis of land. The extra land is being used for horticultural purposes and a garage is under construction. The manager Ishwori Neupane justifies the occupation saying the centre has further plan for expansion.

Sharing his experience, Bista said the factories deceive the office by repeatedly presenting plans for future expansion. He also said that the industries exert political pressures if IAML starts taking strict action against any factory.

Dil Prasad Bhattarai, the chairman of the BIAIA, confirms the fact that early entrants in the area are occupying extra land. He discloses that the IAML encouraged such absorptions of extra land earlier because there were not many industries in the area.

Some aspiring factory-owners say if land is redistributed according to need, the area can house 20 more factories. It is found that factory owners are covering more land, hoping that if the land is handed over to new factory-owners, they will have to pay meagre price.

According to Bista, since the establishment of the industrial area in 2032 BS, it has a total of 434 ropanis of land out of which 270 ropanis of land is being occupied for industrial purpose while 64 ropanis is being used for service purpose.

There are 56 industries in the area. Among them, 42 are operating, 10 are closed down and four are under construction, the IAML says. Among the operating industries, those having market in India for products like yarn, milk, plastics and soaps are more successful.

The IAML states that due to increasing industrial awareness, it is receiving about four applications each day asking for physical infrastructure for the establishment of industries.

It informs that it is working for the establishment of a new industrial area near Sukhaura Khola area or an area between Butwal-Bhairahawa for setting up new industries.