Now, govt turns focus on Nayachar | india | Hindustan Times
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Now, govt turns focus on Nayachar

With the din and bustle over Nandigram just beginning to settle down and familiar red flags flying again after days of bloodshed, the state government can is now eyeing greener pastures.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2007 01:32 IST
Drimi Chaudhuri

With the din and bustle over Nandigram just beginning to settle down and familiar red flags flying again after days of bloodshed, the state government can is now eyeing greener pastures.

Now that land acquisition at the East Midnapore hamlet has become almost an impossibility, the administration is now looking towards Nayachar, a 12-kilometre-long island opposite Haldia. And there is no political dissent or unrest in the horizon.

Even Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had assured people on several occasions that it is Nayachar and not Nandigram for the proposed chemical hub. The government is planning to build a flyover to bridge the 2.5-kilometre gulf between the island and Haldia.

Largely uninhabited, Nayachar’s primary occupants are around 2,500 people, mostly fishermen. However, unlike their Nandigram counterparts, Nayachar people seem unfazed about their homes being turned into a chemical hub. “You will not find anybody on Nayachar who does not want the chemical hub. It would mean jobs and better facilities for those living here,” Himanshu Bhunia, a community leader, said.

If asked to leave, most residents would prefer to return to ancestral places. “We do not expect any Nandigram-like trouble here, even if people are asked to leave,” Bhunia said, with most of the senior Nayachar members agreeing in unison.

As of now, they sell their daily catch in Haldia markets, earning around Rs 4,000 per month. People believe fishing would continue unhindered, even if the chemical hub comes up. “If the hub did affect the river, it should have happened when petrochemical factories came up in Haldia. We can earn either by working here or by selling fish to hub employees on the island,” Somnath Ghorui, who has been living for 25 years, said.