Adani Logistics Ltd has decided to shut its inland container depot (ICD) at Kilaraipur in Ludhiana after it remained blocked by farmer protesters for seven months. The company took the decision after the Punjab government failed to remove the blockade despite a high court order. This decision has meant that around 400 people will loss their jobs, and around 1000 more people will be impacted who were associated with the facility indirectly.
Spread over 80 acres, the Multi-Model Logistics Park was set up by the Adani Group in 2017 to facilitate the industries in and around Ludhiana by providing them services of import and export of cargo through rail and road. The logistics park also has a rail link for this purpose.
But the park has to be kept closed as its main gate was blocked by the anti-farm law protesters in January this year. Apart from sitting on a protest outside the main gate, the protesters also parked a tractor-trailer in front of the gate, preventing the movement of vehicles through the gate. The protesters are also no allowing the employees of the facility to enter the premises.
After registering complaints with the police and approaching the state government had yielded no result, the Adani group had filed a writ petition at the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March 2021 seeking directions to the state authorities to vacate the blockade. The High Court had instructed the state govt to resolve the issue and to file status reports, but didn’t issue any direct order to remove the blockades.
After waiting for seven months, the company finally decided that it can no longer keep paying salaries and other expenses for a shut facility with no assurance on when it can be re-opened. The company said that it can no longer sustain losses on the facility, and informed that it is closing the Multi-Model Logistics Park.
“As the state administration was not able to remove the blockade and allow the ICD to continue operations, the Adani Group has decided to close the business operation at ICD Kilaraipur as it cannot sustain losses and continue to pay wages to employees any longer,” a source in the company said. “Owing to the blockade, the ICD business has come to a complete standstill. Despite this, the Group has continuously paid full wages to its staff and payments to vendors in the hope that the High Court and the State of Punjab will take action for removal of the blockade,” the source added.
According to reports, the company has already removed its signage from the main gate of the facility, and has issued termination notices to the employees.
Apart from the loss of jobs, the closure of the logistics depot will a loss to the exchequer in the form of Railway Haulage, GST, Customs Duties and other taxes to the tune of ₹700 Crores. It is further estimated that the overall impact on the economy will be around ₹7,000 crore after the closure.
It is notable that ever since the farmer protests began, the protesters are also trying to harm the businesses run by industrialists Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani. As the Congress believes these two industrialists to be closer to PM Narendra Modi, the ‘farmers’ have chosen to target them, revealing the political nature of the protests.
Adani Group purchases land in Noida for data centre
Interestingly, just a day before Adani Logistics Ltd decided to shut its Ludhiana logistics park due to the blockade by the protesters, Adani Enterprises had purchased a plot of land in Noida, UP, to set up a data centre. The company was allotted over 34,000 square metre land by the Noida Authority on Wednesday, where the company will invest around ₹2400 crore for the upcoming data centre.
The company said that it has procured land in Noida to establish “one of the largest data centres” in the country. A Noida authority official said that the project would generate 1,350 employment opportunities and fetch a revenue of ₹103.41 crore to the Authority. Adani Enterprises said its position as the largest renewable power player in the country, as well as its access to several undersea cables across the coastline through their port locations, puts it in a strong position in the data centre market.
Earlier this year, Adani Group had formed a joint venture with US-based EdgeConneX to build hyper-scale data centre parks in the six cities. The two companies have formed a 50:50 joint venture company named AdaniConneX JV. The company plans to build data centres in Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Noida, Vizag and Hyderabad.