Billed as the biggest industrial project in Rajasthan, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor (DMIC) today is staring at an uncertain future in the state. Even after five years since the land acquisition process started, the state government doesn't have even a single acre in its possession. In the absence of land, the project has been a non-starter in the state, which was supposed to gain the most among the six states sharing the corridor.
On the other hand, states like Gujarat that occupies 38% of the dedicated freight corridor (DFC), Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, have made significant progress in implementing the project. In fact, it was the landlocked Rajasthan that needed access to ports more than Gujarat or Mumbai.
The $100 billion dollar project is being built along the highspeed DFC that would reduce the time for goods movement between Dadri near Delhi to Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai from current 14 days to about 14 hours. The longest stretch of the 1483 km route (about 39%) passes through the desert state that has struggled to win investors' interest due to its infrastructure constraints.
The government's nonchalant attitude to the project has not only impeded industrial development, but also taken a toll on the farmers who have agreed to sell land without a protest. Unlike many industrial projects where landowners have revolted against land acquisition, farmers in the industrially developed Bhiwadi and Neemrana region often travel to Jaipur to request the government for taking the land in its possession and release the compensation. But it seems the government has neither the money nor the will to tie up the funds.
Farmers Unlikely Victims
Land acquisition process for Khuskhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana (KBN) Industrial Smart City started in 2012. But it was only in April 2015, the government was able to declare compensation of Rs 3000 crore for 1425 hectare.At that time, it came as a relief for the distressed farmers who even in emergency situations could not sell the land to other people as the government imposed prohibition orders in 2013.They thought they would get the money any time soon. But it's been more than two years since then and the government is yet to disburse the money.