Dharwad: Hubballi-Dharwad is possibly north Karnataka’s largest industrial hub, but its industrial estates are suffering from a lack of infrastructure and a reduction in productivity.
Dharwad is geographically located in the centre of north Karnataka and has good connectivity. However, the industrial estates situated in Belur, Tarihal, Mummigatti, Kotur and Lakamanahalli are lacking basic infrastructure as a result of which the industries are unable to utilize their full capacity. The failure of the KIADB in handing over these estates to the local bodies since last two decades has added to the woes of the entrepreneurs.
The outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown have rubbed salt in the entrepreneurs’ wounds. The majority of industrial units in industrial estates are small-scale, auxiliary industries that supply accessories to big and medium-sized enterprises. Due to the fact that the large and medium enterprises that purchased the products of small units cut their production, the demand for auxiliary products decreased as well, according to an industrialist.
The main problem confronting small units in industrial estates is inadequate power supply. “The electricity supplied to us was enough for the technologies available to us 20 years ago. Now that technology has advanced, we require increased energy. Inadequate coordination between Hescom and KIADB has hampered the industrial units’ access to adequate power. To enhance our power supply, we must purchase our own transformer,” Shrikant Thite, head of the Dharwad Growth Centre Industries Association, explained.
He said there have been many discrepancies by the KIADB in the development of industrial area. ” There are instances of green belt space being used for other purposes. As a result, the industrial area has not been transferred to local governments. Those who have purchased the land do not have documents to prove the ownership. When we approach banks for loans, the lenders require proof of tax payment. When we approach banks for loans, the lenders require proof of tax payment. How should we pay the property tax if the owners’ names are not on the records of right?” Shrikant said.
Shrikant demanded that the government approve the establishment of an industrial unit by Aequs Private Limited on a 300-acre plot of land near Itigatti as soon as possible so that small businesses can thrive again.
The sole consolation for industrialists is that the central government gave financial help in the form of bank loans during the pandemic.



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