PUCL Bulletin, April 2001

Delhi: Industrial Relocation
Unemployment Crisis Due to Shifting of Polluting Units From Delhi

Millions of semi literate and illiterate workers will be without jobs due to sealing of units and uncertainty of allocation of land to the industrial units. Are these workers not humans? Does not a human have the right to earn money for food/shelter and clothes?

Industry, whether small or big unit, is pillar of the state for earnings and creating jobs. If shifted from Delhi, the state will have reduced income and will put tax burden on the local public. Unfortunately, our Government machinery is unable to understand the repercussions of shifting in a haphazard way. It is not only State loss but also a national loss.

Millions of people are stranded for want of employment after sealing and uncertainty is prevailing among the small industries. Garment exporters who heavily depend on small units of stitching/ dyeing/ embroidery/ finishing and packing etc. will not be able to honour their commitments to overseas importers.
Supreme Court gave enough time for reallocation of industries but nothing was done. Rather they should have planned the industrial units by classification of industrial levels. Identification of small and big units according to level of pollution and congestion should have been done before issuing licenses. Some expected problems, after shifting industry and shops are as follows:
1. Income reduction of the state.
2. Unemployment mainly in lower and lower medium income group.
3. Prices will shoot up.
4. Heavy recession in property due to lack of demand.
5. Rise of unrest, robbery and rise of indecent elements.

While identifying small-scale industries, the endeavourer should be to give priority to traditional small and cottage industries such as hand embroidery/ hand stitching/ pottery/ vegetable dyeing/ tub dyers/ manual glass blowing etc. They should not be shifted as they are beauty of the state like flowers in the garden. Small-scale industries that are run by manual and machinery with a few employees should be shifted in multistory buildings for proper utilization of space. This will be economical by way of pollution control set up, land allotment, electricity set up and others.

Heavy and medium industries of course should be shifted to far away from the city, otherwise residential colonies that will come up in course of this will face the problem of pollution.

The real challenge is that future of Delhi after shifting is going to be a trading center. Government should prepare in advance for settting up of complexes by identifying the locations and amenities.

In my opinion I also feel this is an invitation to foreign supermarkets to open their outlets in big way to conquer the retail market. -- Sadashivan, Dilshad Garden, Delhi

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