Lack of adequate patches of land and hurdles in the acquisition of private land has slowed the pace of industrialisation in Odisha. Big ticket projects like Posco and ArcelorMittal failed to take off in the state primarily due to land acquisition woes. Between them, the two mega steel corporates promised a whopping investment of over Rs 1 lakh crore. Investors and land losers have been at loggerheads with each other resulting in protracted face-offs in acquiring lands.
The state government is encountering the same land procurement hurdle even for planned manufacturing zones like Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ) proposed on the Dhamra-Paradip cluster and the National Investment Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at Kalinganagar.
"For CEZ, the central government is looking for 50 sq km of contiguous land. We have offered to provide land in patches around Dhamra and Paradip ports. But, much of the land that we have identified is private land and it is going to be difficult. Even for NIMZ, we don't have adequate land," Chopra said.
To overcome the hassles of land acquisition, Idco has identified 100,000 acres under the Land Bank scheme. Of this, 12,000-13,000 acres of land are under the state government's possession. Around 4,000 acres have been identified as Category-A land, which can be readily handed over to the industries. Then, there is Category-B land, which is reserved for industries and can be alloted if required.