Top cos in running, six shortlisted for Himachals first biotechnology park

Written by Preeti Parashar | Chandigarh | Updated: Sep 29 2010, 03:25am hrs
Himachal Pradeshs first Biotechnology Park may soon be allotted to a developer if all goes as per plans. Many bigwigs of realty and biotechnology sector submitted their Expressions of Interest (EoI) and the states biotechnology department has shortlisted six companies. Though the companies came forward only after the last date for submitting the EoI was extended from February 15 to March 18 earlier this year.

The BT park is proposed to come up at village Aduwal, near Nalagarh in Solan district and is likely to catalyse an investment of around Rs 500 crore over a period of time including investment from the private companies setting up base in the industrial cluster of the park.

Discussing the progress of the project a senior official of the state biotechnology department told FE that the business plan for the project has already been approved. Moreover the Request for Proposal (RFP) along with the concession agreement has been drafted. We have received good response from real estate developers as well as companies specialising in developing biotechnology infrastructure in the bidding process. RFP and the concession agreement both have been approved by the cabinet as well. These documents are likely to be issued to the six shortlisted companies within a fortnight and then the pre-bid meeting will be held, said the official. He added, The terms and conditions will be discussed with the companies in the pre-bid meeting. Then we will invite the technical and financial bids.

The department will select two companies after the financial bids and sign the concession agreement. Finally the work will be allotted to one developer. The BT park is proposed to be developed over 35 acres under the public-private partnership mode. UK-based consultant Matt MacDonald is assisting the biotechnology department in selecting the promoter, as well as signing the final agreement with the company. After a two stage selection process of Request for Quotation and Request for Proposal the promoter will be selected within 60 days and the final agreement for development of the BT park will be signed thereafter.

The BT park will house a biotechnology incubation center to be set up at a cost of Rs 38.66 crore, with Rs 9 crore already sanctioned by the central government, mainly for equipment and infrastructure strengthening. The biotechnology industrial cluster will come up over 39.13 acres in the park and will require infrastructural set up of about Rs 40 crore. The park will help in conducting R&D in the fields of aromatic and medicinal plants, tissue culture, value-added fruit processing, bio-fresh processing and extraction of aromatic plants.