KOCHI: This is not the first time that Mumbai-based HDIL has tried to sell the HMT land at Kalamassery. Earlier in June 2013, the company announced plans to sell the Kochi land, but retracted after protests from trade unions. This time too, trade unions said they would protest any move to sell the HMT land for residential or township projects.
HMT Employees’ Union (CITU) joint secretary P Krishnadas said the Union would oppose any move to sell the property for development of residential properties, villas and schools.
“When the controversy erupted in 2000, the Supreme Court allowed the transaction to go through only if the land would be utilised for industrial purposes,” he said.
“We will challenge the move in court if the sale is not for industrial purposes,” he said. Krishnadas said ‘HMT’ sold the land to HDIL hoping that the company would construct an industrial complex providing jobs to one lakh people.
The state government had given a single window clearance for HDIL’s Cyber City project in 2011, where it promised to invest Rs 2,300 crore for “state-of-the-art built up space of about 10 million sqft”.
HDIL, which had a peak debt of about Rs 4,200 crore, has been selling its assets to bring down the debt. During 2014-15, it brought down the debt to Rs 3,100 crore.
Chacko, the HDIL-appointed consultant, said that the company was also looking to develop the HMT land on the lines of Embassy Gold Links Business Park in Bengauru, through a joint venture partner.