Reliance Asks Haryana to Declare Agri Land ‘Urban’

The Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL) — the special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated to implement the now-shelved special economic zone (SEZ) project in Gurgaon and Jhajjar districts — has asked the Haryana government to declare “urban” the chunks of agricultural land in Gurgaon district, bought by Reliance from farmers.
Reliance’s request is being viewed as an attempt to seek exemption from the land ceiling provisions in Haryana. As per the Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, the permissible area allowed for an individual to possess ranged from 18.12 acre to 54.5 acre.
However, an amendment was made in the Act in October 2011, which exempted land acquired for non-agricultural purposes and falling within an “urban area” as defined in the Haryana Development and Regulation
of Urban Areas Act from the ceiling law.
The RHSL, a joint venture of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Ventures Limited and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), had purchased 1,200 acres in Gurgaon district and 7,000 acres in Jhajjar district for setting up two SEZs.
The projects, however, stand shelved as Reliance got the structure of the SEZ project in Jhajjar changed (a model economic township will now come up instead).
The death blow to the SEZ project came in January when the state government asked Reliance Industries to return 1,383 acre transferred by HSIIDC to RHSL in 2006 as the SEZ project could not fructify for the past six years.
The in-principle approval for extension of the multi-product SEZ at Gurgaon, given by the department of commerce, Government of India, also expired on March 31.
Besides exemption from the ceiling law, getting the land declared urban will help Reliance get industrial licences for it.
A large chunk of land being sought to be declared urban by Reliance is in the Farukhnagar controlled area.
Principal secretary, town and country planning, Sudeep Singh Dhillon, said: “They can file an objection once the draft development plan of Farukhnagar is notified. After that, we can examine if they can be accommodated or not. The power to accept or reject the objection is with the government.”
Source- Hindustantimes


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