Durgapur, Feb 22, 2009: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today lambasted the Opposition for its criticism of the proposed chemical hub in Nayachar and rubbished fears of environmental hazards. The chief minister also lashed out at the Centre for playing “little brother” to the US which he blamed for the economic slowdown.
The chief minister was speaking at the inauguration of the alloy and stainless steel division of an integrated steel plant at Banskhopa in Durgapur owned by the Jai Balaji Group, which is expected to pump in Rs 425 crore in the next 18 to 24 months in Durgapur.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had recently announced she would agitate against the chemical hub to be set up in Nayachar for its “negative environmental impact”. “Some people are opposing industrialisation and development in Bengal. Do they know the meaning of petrochemicals? Butadin means rubber, polymer means textiles. What harm will be done? In which country has there been any harm?” said Bhattacharjee.
“They are opposing even a power plant in Katwa. They are opposing it just for the sake of it. This has just become a fight between the ruling party and the Opposition. But we need industry for jobs,” he added.
The CM targeted the Centre for siding with the US, which he held responsible for the economic slowdown. “America is the root cause for the economic recession. They have drowned and they are dragging others along with them. In fact, Delhi is playing little brother to big brother America. Why should we beg to America? We should look towards China for a model. They are fighting America on equal terms,” he said.
“We will set up a coke oven plant and a ductile pipe plant at our facility at Banskopa in Durgapur,” said Aditya Jajodia, chairman and managing director of Jai Balaji Group. The group has inaugurated a 0.45 million-tonne alloy and stainless steel division with an investment of Rs 225 crore today.
The company has already invested Rs 2,000 crore for five of its manufacturing facilities in West Bengal. It has also lined up Rs 16,000 crore for setting up a 5-million tonne integrated steel plant, a 3-MT cement plant and a 1,215-MW captive power plant at Raghunathpur in Purulia district.