Demolition is stared at by thousands of units in 62 villages of Bhiwandi; jobs may be lost by over 20 lakh people.
Thousands of components warehouses of units and corporates spread around 14 square feet of industrial space spread across 62 villages in Bhiwandi, the warehousing and fabric hub nearby Mumbai, are facing an impending crisis. More than 20 lakh direct and indirect workers are currently staring at job loss and are employed in such units.
Sources told Business Today the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority), Bhiwandi-Nizampur City Municipal Corporation and the state revenue department last week initiated demolition of illegal constructions in eight of those 62 villages, based on a verdict from the Bombay High Court in May along with a survey conducted thereafter to demolish structures and buildings illegally assembled on agricultural plantation lands.
However, the police had to come back since protesting residents and workers blocked the roads. Of protesting workers and locals yesterday, hundreds marched into the District Collectorate. The transporters union will see in Bhiwandi, since the authorities may seize goods transported out of the’illegally’ termed godowns, they stated.
“The area provides everything for Mumbai and Pune, as all the significant e-commerce ventures like Amazon and Flipkart to significant corporates, pharmaceutical and FMCG firms have their own warehouses in Bhiwandi. Out of the 14 crore square feet of constructed space in these villages, 75-80 percent are warehouses and the remaining 20-25 per cent are fabricating units in power looms, technology, printing and packaging units,” said Ninad Jaywant, Chairman, Bhiwandi Chapter of the Thane Small Scale Industries Association (TSSIA).
TSSIA is meeting to decide on the course of action, including a meeting of Gramapanchayath heads along with other authorities and also the chance of legal remedies, ” he explained.
Jaywant said most of these units were constructed about 20 decades ago when units in Mumbai relocated to the outskirts. Firms like Raymonds possess 2.5 lakh square feet and Godrej around 2 lakh square feet of warehousing space in the area. Companies including Amazon has nearly 10 lakh square feet.
“Currently, it is not clear how many of these units are termed illegal as MMRDA hasn’t issued individual notices and’d only provided a public notice sometime past. Their stipulation is that whatever will probably be illegal if it is an agricultural property and beyond two on floor space index (FSI), that is, when you have land of 10 yards, building space is going to be limited to two acres. As acquiring of the prevailing permissions from the Gramapanchayaths did these structures We’re helpless in this. It is similar to purchasing a flat, wherein the apartment goes to the society and you have just the apartment,” he said.
As part of developing an industrial belt Palghar, the region was taken on by the MMRDA in 2007 and since 2012, the rules were made strict. “Now to receive a factory licence, one has to get Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) clearance and out of numerous other departments, from at least 25 including woods, highways and railways etc.. It is practically impossible for units. They’re harassing us and deny that the licence saying the constructions are prohibited, in agricultural lands,” states Jaywant.
CEO mohammed Bamboat and his dad Huzaifa I Bamboat, Director of Bamboat Press, makes packaging material and labels for companies such as drug firm Wockhardt. They had invested more than Rs 7 crore, importing machines in the US and UK. However, the MMRDA is reluctant to provide a mill licence. “We had over 30 corporate clients but since they phrase us’prohibited’, orders have ceased.
The unit was shut for seven months and just recently restarted after conducting from’pillar to post’. Same is the story yet another plastic producer who makes plastic covers above 100 microns, of Nitin Vora. “My business is not even 30 per cent of what it was earlier, and faces closed,” says Vora. A 100 per cent exporter of bolts and nuts to petrochemical businesses, satheesan of Expo Engineering, is also in trouble because of mill license from MMRDA’s issue. “I am planning to shift to Daman,” he states. In the same way, chairman and managing director of Printing Plus, Dinesh Gajria, a Rs 50 revenue earning device is also facing the same issue. The device employs about 800 people at any time period.