May 31, 2009

West Bengal to go ahead with chemical hub project

Kolkata, May 29: With the opposition Trinamool Congress, now part of the central government, having said it would oppose the Nayachar chemical hub project, West Bengal’s ruling Left Front government Friday said it had not received any notice yet from the central government to scrap it.

“The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had given us the green signal to set up the Nayachar project. And so far, we have not received anything from their end which says ‘no’ to the chemical hub proposal,” state Industry Minister Nirupam Sen told reporters here.

He said the West Bengal government is hopeful of implementing the project, located in East Midnapore district, despite the Trinamool Congress’ attempts to thwart it."So long there is Central approval for the chemical hub project at Nayachar, we will go ahead with it. We have no information that the project will be cancelled,"Sen said.“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.

Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she will fight the chemical project tooth and nail.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and party’s central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty said the union government had sanctioned a similar petrochemical hub project in three states, including West Bengal and Gujarat.

“It’s a project which is supposed to be implemented by both the centre and state government. Now it’s time to see whether the union government prevents us from implementing it in West Bengal or gives us the nod to continue.

“If the centre stops our Nayachar project, they should ban all three pending proposals of petrochemical industries that will come up in the country,” Chakraborty said.

“But we think West Bengal has got all the required approvals except the environmental clearance,” he said.

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