• The Karnataka Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) has started a crack down on `fake entrepreneurs' who have taken plots for setting up industrial units, but are using them for other purposes.
  • For instance, a school and a college have been operating in Rajajinagar Industrial area for the past few years, exposing students to hazardous pollution.
  • Dr B Gurappa Naidu, chairman of KSSIDC said: We have started identifying such illegal commercial ventures and issuing them show-cause notices. So far, the corporation has identified 27 such illegal buildings -seven of them in Bengaluru.
  • He said they have decided to give such buildings adequate time to either shift or close, but will resort to demolition if they don't heed.
  • Dr B Gurappa Naidu said: We have asked managers of all industrial estates to submit reports on misuse of industrial plots within 15 days. Once we get that, we will draw a comprehensive strategy to deal with it.
  • Sources in the industries department also alleged rampant misuse of land allotted by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for medium and large scale industries.
  • KIADB officials, though, said they have taken action in many cases and also framed new rules in the state's new industrial policy to check such misuse.
  • A senior official said that now industrial land cannot be sold or diverted for other use and beneficiaries have to start work in the land within three months of allotment.
  • Dr B Gurappa Naidu added: We had received complaints that plots allotted in industrial areas are being sold after completion of the lease period and execution of the sale deed by KIADB. This will end soon, as the new rules give KIADB absolute authority to take back land in such cases.
  • Karnataka has long suffered the problem of people getting land at concessional rates from the government for industrial projects and then using the land for other more lucrative commercial purposes, or worse, selling it at a higher price.
  • It has also meant that many who genuinely want land for industrial projects are unable to get them.
  • It's good to see the government begin to now act on the illegalities.
  • But it's incumbent on the government to clean up the system.