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Buddha renews pitch for industry

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said the future generation will not forgive the leaders if they fail to usher industrialisation in the state.

Written by Shiv Sahay Singh | Raghunathpur (purulia) | Published: February 18, 2009 2:38 am

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said the future generation will not forgive the leaders if they fail to usher industrialisation in the state.

Bhattacharjee laid the foundation of a 1.1-metric ton steel plant of Shyam Steel with an investment of Rs 3,425 crore at Raghunathpur in Purulia,nearly 300 kms from Kolkata,on Tuesday.

“Will you forgive us if after many years we give the excuse that West Bengal could not witness industrialisation because the Opposition and the government were at loggerheads,” the CM said at the inauguration. A majority of the people are in favour of industrialisation and it is wrong to oppose it,he added.

The chief minister insisted that with this steel plant and two other in the offing,the backward district of Purulia can come on the industrial map of the state. The state government has been trying to bring industries to districts like Purulia,Birbhum and Bankura,neglected by investors so far,said Bhattacharya.

“We are also making ardent efforts for industrialisation in North Bengal in places like Jalpaiguri in Silliguri,” the CM said. “Three other industries will come up with the steel plant. There will be a 10-lakh ton cement unit and a 150 MW power plant,” he said.

“The atmosphere is conducive for industrialisation in West Bengal. People are ready to give up land for industries but the few who are creating confusion are actually trying to harm the state,” said Basudev Acharya,MP.

The Shyam Steel project will employ 2,110 people and the downstream industries will generate 11,500 additional jobs,Bhattacharjee said,implying that such industries can only provide employment to masses in the state. However,of the 1,265 acres required for the plant,the company has been able to acquire only 74 acres and the production will not start before 2011.

Further,with the lengthening shadows of recession on the steel sector,it is not certain whether such investments can bring in the results the state government is claiming about. The much-touted JSW Bengal Steel inaugurated last year in November at Salboni in West Midnapore with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore has slowed down and the company is likely to re-examine the project after three months.

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