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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

BJP MP asks PM Modi to reconsider Mamata’s invite

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had invited PM Modi to inaugurate the world’s second largest coal block that has the potential to generate nearly one lakh jobs and is expected to bring in investments to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2019 00:02 IST

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hindustantimes
         

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Swapan Dasgupta has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the invitation by the West Bengal government to inaugurate the Deucha Panchami coal block in the Birbhum district, since there are no “studies on the likely social and environmental consequences” of the project.

On Wednesday, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had invited PM Modi to inaugurate the world’s second largest coal block that has the potential to generate nearly one lakh jobs and is expected to bring in investments to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore.

Dasgupta, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, has pointed out in his letter that the inauguration of the project still in its early stages, should await proper environmental clearance and rehabilitation package for the tribal communities that live in the area.

“The process of securing environmental clearance has not even begun. The area where the coal block is located is populated by vulnerable adivasis (tribes people) ….by the state government’s admission, a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for the displaced people has not even begun,” the letter says.

It goes on to say that inauguration by the PM at this juncture will lead to serious distortion’s and open the way for unscrupulous operators.

“Given these factors, l feel that your presence at a formal inauguration of the project after the Durga Puja festival may send all the wrong signals. I believe that the involvement of the Prime Minister in such an event may indicate that all the necessary formalities have been completed and that coal mining is likely to be operational within a very short time This in turn is likely to put subvert the very process of environmental clearances and the rehabilitation package,” Dasgupta added.

Media reports had earlier quoted Banerjee having said that the rehabilitation of the tribal population will be carried out and government will proceed with the project cautiously.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 16:18 IST

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