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'SEZ to be shifted from Nandigram to Haldia'

Buddhadeb says that Nandigram's loss is going to be Haldia’s gain, report Arindam Sarkar & Sandip Chowdhury.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2007 23:43 IST

In his first-ever visit to East Midnapore district after the Nandigram massacre, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee made it clear that the government was bent upon setting up industries in the region and new projects were already in the pipeline. What Nandigram missed, he said, would be Haldia’s gain. He held a public rally at Haldia, but not at the close by Nandigram.

He attended two functions and addressed a public rally to present his industrial road map for the state. Stressing on how the SEZ which was scheduled to be shifted from Nandigram would change Haldia’s industrial landscape he threw a challenge that no initiative to hinder investment would succeed in Haldia.

Taking no names, Bhattacharjee said, “After Singur, two more automobile companies have shown interest to set up factories in Haldia in near future.”

“Eight States competed in Delhi for the chemical hub and we bagged it. It will never go out of our hands. It has to be near the port and I am sorry to say that Haldia would dazzle with more and more industries while Nandigram that got the golden opportunity will live in dark,” said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Lok Sabha MP Lakshan Seth, who received flak from the CM earlier for excesses during the Nandigram controversy said, “We would request the CM to come again in a month’s time to lay foundation stones of another four-five companies.”
Reacting to Seth’s request, Bhattacharjee added, “I think the way Lakshan has hinted me, I may have to visit Haldia almost every month to inaugurate one or the other factories.”

Narrating his plans for the state Bhattacharjee said, “Our stress is on manufacturing, power, petrochemical, chemical and iron and steel sectors. These investments would generate down stream employment opportunities in the state.”
“It is unfortunate that here we find development projects and industries become a CPI(M) vs Trinamool Congress feud. This is ridiculous. I know that all Opposition political parties have joined hands to stop the industries from coming up in Bengal. But they will never succeed,” said Buddha.

Buddha asked the huge gathering at the Ranichawk grounds that as the CM of Bengal was he to take the eight crore people of the State back to agriculture? The crowd shouted “NO”.

And the parting shot had the crowd in raptures when Buddha said he was not born to become the CM but he depended on the people’s power to survive. And as long as the people of Bengal were with him, he would give them industries.

First Published: Apr 24, 2007 23:23 IST