The WEST Bengal government has zeroed in on Nayachar, situated 30 km from Haldia, as the possible site for the proposed chemical hub. Announcing the government's decision, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said Nayachar emerged as an acceptable site because the land was already under state government's possession. Hence, questions over the eviction of people or subsequent rehabilitation would not occur.
The selection of Nayachar would address the concern of the Trinamool Congress also, who were resisting land acquisition and displacement of people, Sen said. Congress leader Manas Bhunia had proposed Nayachar as an alternative site during the monsoon session of the Assembly.
Talking to reporters after an all-party meeting, Sen rubbished the chief minister's story of requirement of just 4,000 acres for an oil refinery. He strongly asserted that the state government would need an additional 10,000 acres for the chemical hub to suit the requirements of the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) policy and said the chief minister's recent letters to Front partners had clearly put the requirement at 10,000 acres.
All parties, including the Congress, have unanimously welcomed the government's decision of setting up an industrial and chemical hub based on the PCPIR policy, Sen said. Three options, prepared by Mott McDonald, were placed at the meeting and Nayachar came up as the most favourable site in terms of causing least damage to people and farmers, he added.