October 19, 2008

We are committed to West Bengal: Apeejay

Kolkata, Oct 17: Refuting rumours on relocating the Rs 2,000 crore (USD 500 million) Bengal Shipyard Ltd ship building project from West Bengal to Orissa, Apeejay-Surendra Group Chairman Karan Paul on Friday said he was committed to the state and no such decision has been taken. "We are committed to the state and there is nothing like any deadline. The Bengal government is supportive about the project," Paul said here.
He, however, said there was some 'misunderstanding' regarding land acquisition. The project would require close to 500 acre and the company would directly negotiate with farmers and land owners. "We have already begun direct talks and will do more if direct talks work better. We are open to both government and direct land acquisition models," he said.
At present, the two parties--West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and the Haldia Development Authority are close to acquiring 293 acres of the total 494 acres of land needed for the project. The comapny would set up a modern shipbuilding yard along India's eastern coast to manufacture ships of capacity ranging from 100,000 dwt to 250,000 dwt. Bengal Shipyard Ltd is a 50:50 joint venture between Appeejay group's unlisted Apeejay Shipping Ltd and Bharati Shipyard Ltd.
Zeenews Bureau Report

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