The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Union Environment Ministry, has accorded permission to convert GMR Group’s aviation special economic zone (SEZ) into a multi-product SEZ, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. According to the minutes of the EAC meeting, held on June 25, 2018, the SEZ can now have industrial units and activities relating to aviation, in addition to pharmaceutical formulation, gems and jewellery, electronic and commercial developments, among others.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) cited poor response from aviation companies for setting up shop in the aviation SEZ, as a reason to convert it into a multi-product SEZ. The infra major had, in 2017, said the GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park, spread in the layout of 253.85 acres, had an occupancy rate of just 11 per cent over the last six year and if allowed to convert it into a multi-product SEZ, it would be fully operational within three to four years.
No further expansion of any sort for the proposed unit, as well as no further request of any new pharma unit (including formulation) within the SEZ shall be permitted, the EAC noted. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has confirmed that there is no security threat to civil aviation, directly from the units at the SEZ. In addition, the Directorate of Civil Aviation has stated that considering the distance and location of the proposed unit, it does not have any impact on the safety of airport operations. The Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Service Department, also issued a provisional NOC to Citron Formulations Private Limited, to set up its unit in the newly converted multi-product SEZ.