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Mamata Banerjee reiterates opposition to Nayachar project

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Now that a new government has assumed office at the Centre, the future of the proposed petroleum, chemical, petrochemical investment region at Nayachar in West Bengal is uncertain. For, Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated her opposition to the project despite its getting the nod of the previous Union Cabinet.

The Trinamool Congress is the second largest party in the government at the Centre.

Ms. Banerjee has been citing environmental concerns for opposing the project.

After the Nandigram and Singur episodes, the Trinamool leadership is now gearing for a fresh assault on the Left Front government’s moves for greater industrialisation.

Land acquisition

The State government has expressed its intention to go ahead with its plans for industrial development. But it will be more cautious in acquiring land for industry and infrastructure development, keeping in mind the need for proper compensation to and rehabilitation of land losers.

The State government proposed Nandigram for a chemical hub but the plan was abandoned in the wake of hostilities in the area following an agitation by the Trinamool-led Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh (Resistance against Eviction from Land) Committee.

Now, however, it is undeterred by Ms. Banerjee’s opposition to the Nayachar project.

“The State has got a letter approving the project and not received any other [that might suggest otherwise],” Nirupam Sen, Industries Minister, said here on Friday, when asked about the future of the project.

‘Will go ahead’

“We will go ahead with it for as long as the approval [for the project] is there. Later, if there is a change then we will have to see,” he said emerging from a Communist Party of India(Marxist) State Secretariat meeting.

If the proposal at Nayachar was scuttled on grounds of environment, then the two projects approved for Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat should also suffer the same fate, said CITU State president Shyamal Chakravarty.

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