Hyderabad: The environment ministry has granted clearance to the GMR Group to convert its aviation SEZ at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport into a multi-product special economic zone.
The 254-acre GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park can now house units relating to pharmaceutical formulations; cutting, polishing and selling precious gemstones and metals; and commercial buildings.
The approval was granted by the expert appraisal committee on June 25 after six months long deliberation and a clearance from the ministry of civil aviation.
According to the minutes of the EAC meeting, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) sought the conversion due to poor response from aviation companies for setting up their facilties in the aviation SEZ.
“GHIAL’s SEZ has seen limited growth during last six years and is presently operating at just 11 per cent occupancy. With the revised sector focus, it is perceived that GHIAL would be able to capitalise upon the opportunities in next 3-5 years to make the SEZ fully operational,” the GMR Group said in its application. However, the GMR Group had dropped its plea to build an amusement park as part of the SEZ after the EAC’s observation on bird threat to flights.
The EAC also said that it will not entertain any request for an further expansion of the SEZ and an increase in the area earmarked for pharma businesses.
The EAC also suggested that the government frame guidelines for permitting developmental activities within one km and 10 km radius of airport area.
It said such guidelines may be prepared by ministry of environment and forest through a panel comprising of representatives from concerned departments including civil aviation authority, disaster management, town planning and subject experts.