Why investors hesitate to come to Mangalore?

Created on 11.08.2014 22:35:14

The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) acquired 205.16 acres of land for the EPIP and has developed a pretty good layout in 158.18 acres, with good road infrastructure. But the missing link is the power. Though water connection was one of the issues, it was solved 10 months back by lifting water from Gurupur river. But power, the much-needed ingredient for any industry, is missing. Mescom's 220 KV sub-station to provide uninterrupted and quality power has not come up even seven years after the inception of the park.

An officer, on condition of anonymity, admits: "We understand this is a big issue. We have written to the principal secretary, commerce and industry, who was supposed to hold a meeting last month. It will in all likelihood be held this week along with MD, KPTCL, and energy secretary.


Of the 28 units sanctioned land at EPIP, only five have started functioning, some two years back and others just recently. One more unit will start production in a fortnight. About 14 units are in various stages of implementation.

KIADB has tapped into village feeder and given power to the functioning units. With this arrangement, we cannot provide uninterrupted and quality power. The stumbling block is we need NHAI permission to lay an underground cable on NH13. This issue has been taken up at the central level and things should be sorted out in a couple of months,'' the officer said.

If this is the problem of EPIP, the 165-acre IT-SEZ at Mudipu has another strange problem. The then officer in charge of acquisition notified the area by allegedly concealing the fact that a village road bifurcated the SEZ into two halves. This is not permitted in an SEZ since it cannot be porous and can have only one entry and one exit. Now this problem is being rectified with officials planning to demarcate one half of 120 acres (land left after providing utilities etc) into IT-SEZ and the other half for general industrial area. But again the SEZ does not have water and only one company has started construction activity lately.

The only venture going great guns is Infosys which has got 353 acres under Single Unit Complex (SCU). But they too have to depend on groundwater and tankers for water needs since the one MGD connection from Nethravathi river is still in nascent stage. The approach road from Thokkottu (NH 17) to Mudipu is in a pathetic state and has not been addressed by government even after repeated requests by Infosys.

What experts say

"Each one is blaming the other. While investors say there is no infrastructure, government says it is in place. It is a cat and mouse game. We have told the government to take back allotment if no units are set up within a specified period. Government should appoint a pointsman to see that there is coordination between the government and investors and also addressing of issues

Lata Kini | former president, KCCI, chairperson of chamber subcommittee on medium and large industries

"Both places have no connectivity. An entrepreneur cannot afford they are away from the city. Ideally they should have Thiruvanathapuram model where the IT Park is located in the city. Entrepreneurs pay the rent and start using facility immediately instead of starting from scratch. Getting manpower to the facility which is far off is a Herculean task.

Praveen Kalbhavi | IT entrepreneur

"There is no diversified growth in this region which can promote multi-dimensional growth. The whole ecosystem is such that no lateral recruitment is impossible. Seniors do not come here since they feel that the system does not have enough opportunities for their spouse or kin. As far as small entrepreneurs are concerned, there is nothing from the government to encourage them. First of all, there is no industry corridor for an entrepreneur to set up business

courtesy :Times of India