Prakasam entrepreneurs' plea to continue APIIC zonal office in Ongole
- APIIC decided to merge Prakasam zonal office with Nellore-Prakasam zone and to shift the office to Nellore
- An entrepreneur from Prakasam district says that 20% of plots in industrial parks are still vacant in the district
Ongole: Entrepreneurs and industrialists from Prakasam district have demanded that the government must take back its decision of merging Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) Prakasam zonal office with Nellore-Prakasam zone and shifting of the zonal office to Nellore. They demanded continuation of the zonal office in Ongole only, keeping in view of the expenses in terms of money and time both for public and officials.
Following the reorganisation of 13 districts of the State into 26 districts, the head office of APIIC issued proceedings in April 2022 to restructure and remap the zones. It formed 15 zones covering 26 new districts, including Tirupati special projects zone at Naidupet and ordered zonal managers to report to the District Collectors in their zone.
As the erstwhile Nellore and Prakasam districts have lost some part, the APIIC decided to establish Nellore-Prakasam zone, with headquarters at Nellore. Entrepreneurs in Prakasam district protested this decision, while members of various associations are submitting memorandums and explaining the need for the continuation of zonal office in Ongole to the officials and political leaders.
In Prakasam district, there are about 10 industrial parks, in which granite, fly ash, textiles, garments, plastic, paper and electrical industries are working. Zonal office set up in Ongole about seven years ago helped in the establishment of industrial parks at Ragamukkapalem, Makrapuram, Nagarajupalli and other areas. About 20% of plots are vacant in these industrial parks and 179 plots of them were allotted to SC and ST entrepreneurs. GO MS No 7, issued on February 2, 2022, ordered SC and ST entrepreneurs to get the allotment orders again, and the process is going on.
A Dalit entrepreneur from Prakasam district, V Bhaktavatsalam said that 20 per cent of plots in industrial parks are still vacant in the district. Gullapalli growth centre, one of the largest in the State, is facing maintenance issues, while NIMZ at Kanigiri, Solar industries at CS Puram etc are not realised yet, he informed. Shifting of APIIC zonal office to Nellore halts the development works in industrial parks and interested entrepreneurs have to frequently visit Nellore, while the existing parks face frequent management issues.
Gullapalli Growth Centre Granite Industries Association president Mandava Ratnakar Rao said that interested entrepreneurs have to visit APIIC zonal office from submitting application for land allotment to get permissions of various departments, mutations etc. He said Kandukur, Pamur, Giddalur and Markapuram areas witnessed huge industrial growth during the period the zonal office worked from Ongole, and he was afraid that merger of Ongole ZM office with Nellore may bring the old bad days again.
Ratnakar Rao said APIIC officials claimed that they are running zonal office at Ongole in a rented building, while they have their own premises in Nellore. He said if the government wants to save on the rent by shifting zonal office from Ongole to Nellore, the fuel cost for the travel of the officials would become more and demanded the APIIC not to shift the office.
APIIC zonal manager for Nellore-Prakasam zone J Venkateswarlu informed that they didn't shift the office yet, and he is available in Ongole for three days a week. He said that he has information that the head office is thinking over the demands and requests from entrepreneurs and may establish a sub-zonal office in Ongole to cater to the needs of local industrialists. He said the decision of the higher officials is expected by
the weekend and arrangements will be made accordingly from the