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Face to Face : Mangalore SEZ CEO Vs Locals

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (MM)

Mangalore, Jul 17: Dakshina Kannada district is the first place where locals have shown interest for the incorporation of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Karnataka is the first state in India to invest in it, said I S N Prasad, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEZ Mangalore.

While speaking at the interaction meet on setting up SEZ held at Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) auditorium on Monday July 16, he said that the central will have an equity of 26% and state will invest an equity of 23% and KCCI will have an equity of 2%, he informed.

“On 12th of this month, the Union Sanctioning Authority has given formal approval status for Mangalore SEZ. A total of 1453 land has been recognized for the formal approval. 721 acres of land is already in the hands of SEZ. After acquiring the sufficient land, the SEZ will go to the Sanctioning Authority and ask for multi-product industries”, he said.

“At present, the approval is given for petrochemical industries. But we will have IT and textile industries. We are hoping to have truly a multi-product SEZ. Moreover, we will see to it that maximum employment would be generated in this regard. Hence, the state government has taken equity in it,” he clarrified.

“Today or tomorrow, D K district will industrialize rapidly even without SEZ. But the challenge is social and economic problems in this area. In the present situation, development is necessary. The only thing is, how balanced one can do it”, he opined.

“Discussion will be held with New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) authorities to invite them to become one of the equity holders in SEZ. Port has 300 acres of land so that the SEZ can plan for port related activities”, I SN Prasad informed.

“Employment will be given for at least one family member who is likely to render displaced. At the same time, 2 and half years of training will be provided for them at KPT. The chief objective of setting up SEZ will be that, it must serve the district and local people to achieve progress”, he clarified.

Hot Debate: Hot debate was held between I N S Prasad and likely displaced people when they took him into task regarding the ill treatment and issues related to compensation.

Suresh Shetty, Kateel Dinesh Pai, Upendra Hosabettu, Lawrence, Rony and others demanded justice for the land they are likely to sacrifice. At the same time, issues like ecological imbalance, infrastructures etc were raised before him.

Answering the questions of the displaced people, Prasad said, “Rs 8.5 lac will be paid for the land, Rs 21 lac for rehabilitation and resettlement. After carrying out the activities like road, electricity and other infrastructural facilities, the expenditure for every acre will go up to 55 to 60 lacs,” he said.

At the same time, I S N Prasad was requested to arrange for a public program to hear the grievances of the likely displaced.

KCCI office bearers Srinivas Kamath, Shekhar Poojary, M Ahmed Bava and SEZ Chief Operating Officer A G Pai were present on the dais.

Capt John Prasad Menezes, president, KCCI, welcomed the gathering. Kumble Narasimha Prabhu introduced the guest.


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Comment on this article

  • Shilpa R S, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 09 2007

    We need to grow - I agree with this totally. But at what cost should we do this. Should we compromise on the quality of the environment in which we live. They are many industrialised countries like Switzerland, Finland etc growing at a very healthy pace without compromising on a basic quality of life. They are talking about generating jobs but are the locals qualified to take these jobs or will they end up doing menial jobs which will probably make their lives worse than what they started out with. Also are we going about it the right way.

    We are absolutely not aware about the ill effects of an MSEZ to our daily lives - short-term or in the long run. Is this a dictatorship or a democracy ? Don't we the people of Mangalore have a say about the place we live in ?

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  • Shiva, usa

    Mon, Jul 23 2007

    James, Why are you not answering my question? Why did you say I am impersonating? I may be a politician or not - does it mean I cannot have name as Shiva or did I say that I am not a politician anywhere? Point is that by attacking personally, subject gets diverted. So let us concentrate on getting more data about SEZ and analyzing it without prejuidice, please

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  • thomas, Mangaon

    Mon, Jul 23 2007

    To know how people fight against the SEZ come down to Raigad districts Pen where 24 villages are fighting with fast. Oh MANGALORIANS dont you feel ashamed to support SEZ do you really know what it means to be SEZ. Wake up or else you will be choked to death by SEZ

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  • shiva, usa

    Mon, Jul 23 2007

    James, Were you in a hurry? Why did you think that I did not like Nelson's comments? What have I done to you to talk about impersonating? I have not made any personal remark on anyone. Why are you upset? All I said was that it is necessary to fight against SEZ's.

     I diasgree with your comments and wholly agree with Nelson's comments. I strongly believe that India is going on Wrong path. In the name of SEZs, people's land is taken at much less than market value and given to SEZs. Finally these end up with land-sharks and may be even Russian Mafia as is happening in Goa.

    India has 10-12 times more population density than US. So we need to be very careful about land policies. If we cannot agree, we need to diasgree as our first PM Sri JN said famously. There is no point making personal allegations. Most of the industries which get the allotted land, usurp more than what they should do. China has just handful of mega SEZs, where as India is planning hundreds!! despite being much more densely populated than China.

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  • James, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 22 2007

    Shiva, why didn't you like Nelson's comments? Is it because he is criticizing the politicians and you are one of them, impersonating here as Shiva. I liked his comments even though I don't agree with some of his views.

    To become an industrialised and rich nation we need to sacrifice something. And that is how the richest nations like USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, etc. have come up. If these countries have had people of the mentalties like those we find in Mangalore they wouldn't have come up at all, on the contrary they would have remained poor like India.

    Few people who are well off and don't depend on jobs mislead some gullible people to protest against each and every project. They are blind to the fact that many people here are leading hand to mouth existence. They are blind to the fact that so many people have to leave Mangalore reluctantly to find jobs in Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities.

    They are blind to the fact that benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Have these people given a single thought to the beedi rolling people who lead a miserable life. I appeal to the opponents of all these projects to welcome development and divert their energy in ensuring that we Mangaloreans get job opportunities in such Industries. Long live Mangalore and strong live Mangaloreans!

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  • shiva, usa

    Thu, Jul 19 2007

    From the responses here I can see that people are seeing through this SEZ game. I really liked all comments, especially that of Nelson. But there is no point just our writing. PM is not going to read this nor will the politicians care. It is high time all help to be given to a few NGOs fighting for this cause. Only huge protests may be heard.

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  • Nelson Lewis, Karkala/Bombay/Kingdom of Bahrain

    Thu, Jul 19 2007

    India is one of the largest industrial powers in the world and we should firstly not go about recklessly constructing factories, plants, etc., if agricultural land is being used for this purpose, secondly if they are going to create ecological disaster and contribute to pollution and, thirdly if they are going to only create a bunch of business magnates, but leave millions of people poor.

    What we need is agro-based and eco-friendly industries and improving the lots of farmers. If filthy rich people have vast tracts of lands lying idle for years, then the same should be taken from them for distribution amongst landless.

    I do not believe in any black and white agreements, because in India, judges, court officials, lawyers and other Government servants can be bought over the counter like any consumer item, i.e. mango, banana, etc. We would not mind people being excessively rich, if they are going to plough back a substantial part of their wealth for welfare of the masses. We just do not wants SEZs and excessively rich people living high profile lives, zipping around in flashy cars, quenching their thirsts in water holes with babes in their hands, etc.

    It is high time for the Governments of Dr. Manmohan Singh and the various States to think of India's galloping population, imposing family planning in the strictest way, allocating heavy percentage of budget for providing top quality education, either free or at affordable costs. If we have educated masses, then our electorate will be choosy whom they elect, rather than cartoons and despicable creatures that we see today.

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  • Robin DSouza, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 18 2007

    What I feel is this SEZ thing assurances are all bogus, once they Set Up the companies they just neglect the promises they had made to locals. Its better to promises made to be written in a legal paper as a evidence.

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  • Sameer KM, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 18 2007

    The whole process of choosing companies that run or operate in an SEZ needs to be transparent. At the moment, there seems to be very little information on the bidding process (if any), and the criteria for choosing companies that operate or hold a stake in the SEZ.

    This is certainly not acceptable in a democracy. Another noteworthy factor is the choice of a huge petrochemical SEZ operating right in the middle of an ecologically fragile region. The common man would have placed more trust in the authorities if our country had a robust mechanism where pollution norms were stricly enforced without favouritism.

    Unfortunately, the rule of law has been circumvented to such an extent that the influential can get away with any kind of violation by greasing the right palms. The pollution levels in regions around major industrial zones in our country (mainly in the western region) are testimony to this fact.

    There have plenty of instances where industries have thrived but potable drinking water is hard to find, as most water bodies were polluted beyond redemption. No matter how much the authorities emphasise the minimal effects on the environment, it is going to be extremely difficult to convince people of the same. People do realise that pollution norms do not stand a chance against the lure of money

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  • Shantharam, Udupi

    Tue, Jul 17 2007

    The promise that locals will be employed will not be fulfilled. When the SEZ is completely set up you can see people from other states (TN and KL) being employed.

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