The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Grand blueprint for better Haldia

Haldia, Nov. 5: With the Centre poised to declare this port city a special economic zone, the Haldia Development Authority (HDA) has hired Japan’s Mitsui Corporation to implement and help secure funds for the development projects needed to speed up investments.

HDA chief executive officer A. Subbiah today said the state government has mooted 45 projects, including creation of an airstrip, a solid waste management plant, an integrated industrial ring road, a water filtration plant and a 150 MW power plant, for the upcoming economic zone.

In the blueprint, there are also plans for an industrial park exclusively for women entrepreneurs, a sports complex and the Uluberia-Haldia circular railway.

HDA chairman and MP Laxman Seth said a Rs 350-crore development package had been planned to attract more investors. “We will have to look at alternative funding so that the pace of development here does not flag,” Seth told The Telegraph.

On the initial availability of funds, Subbiah said the HDA will levy development charges and announce a Rs 50-crore public bond. “As it is, we have made a profit of Rs 6 crore by levying taxes on supply of treated water and by selling land,” the CEO said.

“The Centre accords the status of special economic zone to industrial areas which encompass an area of 2,000 acres. In Haldia, industries cover 3,500 acres,” Subbiah pointed out.

A five-member team of financial consultants from Mitsui was here to hold discussions with Seth and Subbiah on October 28. They talked about the ways and means to implement the development plan. It has been drawn up with projections of future investments over a period of 15 years.

“Mitsui will prepare a priority report on the project implementation and will also provide the technical knowhow to get going projects like the water and power plants,” Seth said. He hinted that Mitsui would also help in procuring long-term loans from Japanese firms like Marubeni.

At present, the HDA is concentrating on repairing the 6.2-km Haldia link road that connects the old and new industrial zones by linking National Highway 41 with the Haldia-Mecheda highway.

Seth said many industries along the route, including Mitsubishi, were having serious problems in transporting their products due to bad roads. The HDA is spending a crore to get the entire stretch repaired on a war footing. Besides, Rs 40 crore will be needed to build a River Ring Road and other new thoroughfares here.

“The major priority areas are roads, water and power. We now need 5 million gallons of water a day and for that, a new plant has been proposed. We also want to supply steady and quality power and for that, the HDA has plans to set up a plant on the riverside,” Seth said.

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