The West Bengal government has prepared a Rs 107 crore plan to address the environment problems at Bantala special economic zone (SEZ) in the eastern part of the city, Industries and Commerce Minister Nirupam Sen said on Tuesday.
"We were apprehensive whether investors would invest in Bantala SEZ, because of the environmental hazards caused by the tanneries located nearby. We are reluctant to have it happen where red category marked leather industries are located," Sen said at a programme.
"The investors and developers have faced lot of environmental problems. Even the Cognizant authorities complained that their employees are reluctant to come here because of non-friendly environment and poor infrastructure," Sen said at the inauguration function of the second campus of Cognizant Technology at Bantala.
He said the state government was concerned about the problem. "We are committed to address the problem at the earliest. A plan to renovate the common effluent treatment plants (CETP) and construction of solid waste management has been prepared by the government to resolve the problem at an estimated cost of Rs 107 crore," he said.
At present there are four CETPs, which are not running with full capacity due to lack of renovation. Two more CETPs will be constructed apart from setting up a solid waste management facility.
A plot of 60 acres has been identified for the solid waste management project and a guard wall will be set up to arrest the flow of water from the tanneries. The entire project will be completed at the earliest to improve the environment at the Bantala campus.
Sen said the state government will appeal to the union ministry of environment and forests for providing 70 per cent of the estimated cost as grant. The minister will take up the matter with the ministry officials in Delhi. "But even if the ministry refuses to fund the project, we will initiate the project at our own cost," he said.
After the tendering process, the project has been awarded to Ramco Environmental.
The minister also emphasised that foreign and domestic investors are doing good business here despite negative publicity in the media about the industrial growth of Bengal.
"Actually the foreign and domestic companies are doing good business. All of them are either undergoing expansion plan or have expanded their capacities."
Environment in the state is one of the major issues for development of the industries, said Sen.