Haryana yet to decide on Nanocity plea

Written by Preeti Parashar | Chandigarh | Updated: Apr 26 2011, 06:22am hrs
Fate of much hyped Nanocity project of Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia is hanging fire as the final decision on curtailing the land size or scrapping the project yet to come.

This proposal, however was accepted by the Haryana Investment Promotion Board (HIPB) in its last meeting in January. But it is learnt that the promoter has further proposed to curtail the size of the land to merely 500 acres. Talking to FE, YS Malik, financial commissioner and principal secretary, Haryana industries and commerce said, The matter will be taken up in the next meeting of the HIPB and its date has not been decided yet. The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) will review the progress of the project and the same will be discussed in the next meeting.

The project, which is proposed to come up at Raipur Rani in Panchkula district, has failed to kick off since the last five years. The state government had also issued an ultimatum last year to the Sabeer Bhatia group (promoter of Nanocity) to submit the final plans by November 2010 or the project be scrapped. The HSIIDC served notice on promoter as even after signing the MoU for the project in June 2006, it failed to acquire any land. The promoter company upon reconsideration, proposed to reduce the land size of the project, from the earlier 11,000 acres, to less than 2,000 acres.

On the other hand, the developer awaits the decision from the state government and till then the project has been put on hold. Naval Bhatia, managing director of the SPVNanocity Haryana infrastructurefloated for the project told FE, We have put forth our proposal to curtail the project size to 500 acres as it is feasible for us. We are awaiting the state governments decision on the matter. We shall be sending them one more reminder next week about the same. Once the things are clear we are keen on moving ahead with the project.

It is pertinent to note that the project has been running slow since it was announced as the promoter could not convince the farmers to part with their land at prices decided by it. A foreign partner was also to be roped in by the promoter but the idea was dropped later. Also in July 2008 the promoter of nanocity had offloaded 38% equity stake to Parsvnath Developers that had planned to invest R400 crore as equity and debt in the project.

As per the original plans nanocity had to come up over 11,000 acres covering 23 villages in and around Raipur Rani in Haryana. The company had plans to develop 5,000 acres of land over five years in the first phase and the rest in the second phase. The project was viewed as a future hub for the companies operating in areas such as software development, nano sciences, next generation drug discovery, Bio-technology, energy research and semiconductor research etc. But this may not be possible now with the fate of the project still not clear.