The government has extended the in-principle approval to Mukesh Ambani-owned
Reliance Industries'' Maha Mumbai SEZ by one year but asked the promoters to cut
the size of the zone to 5,000 hectares in line with the new rules.
commerce ministry has also asked RIL to ensure that the land acquisition for the
project is done with the consent of the owners and that no compulsory acquisition
is done by the state government.
issue was not required to be brought to the board of approval and was processed
by the commerce ministry," commerce secretary G K Pillai said.
per the earlier in-principle clearance, which expired this week, the SEZ was expected
to be set up on 10,000 hectares. But the government has since amended the SEZ
rules in April this year to reduce the size of zones following widespread protests
against forced land acquisitions in the country.
residents, including farmers, in the area where RIL''s SEZ is supposed to come
up have officially registered their opposition to land acquisition. A number of
landowners have informed the government that they do not want to part with their
land and should not be made to do so.
in the commerce ministry say that the government had already decided that objection
from even one land owner from the affected area would be enough to stall an SEZ
project. Since the new rules notified recently by the government specify that
land required for SEZs has to be surrendered willingly, developers will have to
take some remedial action soon to save the situation.