February 25, 2009
To give an impetus to economic activities in an area Special Economic Zones (SEZ) were proposed in different states of India. The Mangalore Special Economic Zone is among a host of projects that have been approved by the Board of Approval for setting up a SEZ. Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) is coming up in about 4000 acres of land in and around Permude, Kalavaru, Bajpe, Thenka Ekkaru and Delanthabettu in Dakshina Kannada district. The total investment in the project is expected to be about Rs. 35,000 crore. The project is coming up in two phases and land acquisition for phase I is complete while the process is on for the II phase of the project.
Implementing mega projects leads to large scale displacement of people from their home land. To do justice to the displaced families who are uprooted from their homelands rehabilitation and resettlement (R & R) of the displaced families has been accorded top priority by Mangalore Special Economic Zone Limited (MSEZL) which is overseeing the implementation of the project. In fact the R & R package offered by MSEZL is considered to be one of the best in the country.
All set for Inauguration
R & R Colonies MSEZ are coming up in Kulai, Thokuru, Permude, Bajpe and Kalavaru areas of Dakshina Kannada in about 235 acres of land in phases, complete with all infrastructural facilities like road network, underground drainage facility, storm water drainage, rain water harvesting, wide roads and amenities like anganawadi kendras, schools, community halls, primary health care centers, fair price shop, markets, public park, transport facility etc.
The 1st phase of the R & R colony is coming up in about 57 acres of land in Kulai which has about 365 sites and is all set for inauguration by the end of this month. So far 335 sites have been allotted in this colony. Some of the sites have already been occupied and construction activity is in full swing in about 120 sites. Almost one acre of land in the colony is ear-marked for setting up these essential services for the residents of the colony.
A six-metre drain of almost one km length is provided near the proposed park area to prevent floods.
Joseph Pereira, retired postman and his wife Eliz have been staying in their newly-constructed house in the 12 cents of land allotted to them by MSEZ. Talking to daijiworld Eliz said “We had our land in Pezar, near St Joseph Church. But we were not doing any cultivation there due to our advancing age. Our children are settled except for our younger son who is staying with us. So far we have no problem with the facilities provided. We have a good house and some land to grow some coconut and other trees and plants”.
But Eliz is unable to come to terms with the mosquito menace in the colony. “I brought a new bat yesterday to get rid of the mosquitoes”, she says pointing out to her new bat. This is of course a temporary problem as many houses are coming up in the colony simultaneously. It will take some more time for the residents to get acclimatized to the new environment.
Mr A G Pai, Chief Operating Officer of MSEZ explains “We have come up with one of the best R & R Colonies to the displaced families. We have chosen a good location for the colony, close to the city as we do not want these people to be displaced again. No industry would venture to acquire the land by paying exorbitant rates within the city while low cost land is available at the outskirts.
Giving a Final Touch
Power connection in the colony is complete and for the first time in Mangalore aerial bunch electric cables (5 times costlier than the normal cables) are used in this colony. Three borewells provide round-the-clock water supply to the residents of the colony and within a week municipality water connection with be provided. Two over-head tanks on either side of the road at the highest elevation will be provided to meet the water requirements of the colony. As the work at Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) planned at Surathkal is yet to commence, two mobile STPs have been ordered at a cost of Rs. 40 lakhs specifically for the colony.
Public Relation Officer of MSEZ Ramachandra Bhandarkar says “The R & R colony is a well planned lay out with all amenities. People who were apprehensive earlier are now happy the way the colony is shaping up as a model R & R colony”.
There are 27 streets in the colony and they are fitted with sodium vapor lights instead of normal tube lights. The streets are provided with covered footpaths and scented, flowering and green canopy trees are planted on either side of the roads. One acre of land is earmarked for a public park within the colony and will have children’s play area, walk-path for senior citizens, lawn etc.
Buffer Green Zone
Steps are initiated to cover 33% of the colony area with green belt to have a buffer zone in order to reduce air, noise and dust pollution and also to improve the aesthetic value of the area. As part of the green belt to be developed in the colony, about 3000 varieties of plants and trees of 42 local species have been planted in nearly 7 acres of land. This green belt is provided with drip irrigation system and is properly fenced. Endangered and rare plant species are grown in this green cover area. Fruit trees like jackfruit, guava, gooseberry, jamun tree are grown to not only to increase greenery but also to make fruits available in plenty for the people of the colony.
But this alone is not sufficient says Suresh B Tantri, Horticulture Manager-MSEZ. “We are encouraging people to grow trees and plants around their land holdings. The residents will be provided with free plants saplings which may considerably increase the green belt area in the colony. It is an ongoing process”, he points out.
The model colony, if lives up to the expectations of the will certainly smoother the ruffled feelings of the displaced people who have come with bundles of hopes. It will take its own time for the colony to get completed. But a beginning has been made in the right direction.
“It is like a dream come true because we never imagined our life would take a new turn. We could build our own terrace house in the city which we could not have afforded otherwise. What has happened has been for our good and we are happy with the facilities and our own house in the city” says Devaki and Pushpalatha, who are the first ones to come and stay in the colony.
7 colonies developed in a phased manner in about 235 acres of land:
Kulai – 57 acres 1st phase – completion stage
Kulai – 24.acres – work under progress
Thokuru – 29acres - waiting for MUDA approval
Permude – 15 acres - waiting for MUDA approval
Bajape – 36.49 acres – waiting for MUDA approval
Kalavaru 4 acres – leveling work in progress
Places of Worship Relocated
- A special package has been given for shifting of religious places of worship and relocating family idols and deities within the colony
- Developed additional land has been allocated for relocation of Daivasthanas
- Appropriate measures are taken to reposition temples of Permude and Bajpe in the respective places chosen with the consent of the people
- The mosque of Chandrahas Nagar in Permude village is allotted alternative place in the R & R colony coming up at Thokuru.