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Mahindra plan for SEZ

Calcutta, June 12: Mahindra and Mahindra is planning to set up an automobile ancillaries special economic zone (SEZ) in Bengal.

A six-member team from the company’s infrastructure venture, Mahindra World City, today went scouting for land for the proposed 500-acre SEZ in Burdwan district.

“The team was escorted by our officials to survey three sites in the district. They have reacted favourably to the sites and said they would get back to us later,” said Burdwan district magistrate, Manish Jain.

The visitors were first shown around 700 acres of land at Rajbandh, 10 km from Durgapur. Some of the land there belongs to the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority, while the rest is farmland but is not agriculturally significant, said district administration officials.

Another plot measuring around 500 acres was shown on NH 2 near Asansol town, of which the majority belongs to the development authority and the rest is wasteland, which is not under cultivation.

A third plot was shown at Andal near Ranigunj, which is privately held. The three plots do not have much agricultural land, said the development authority chairman and Asansol MP Bansagopal Chowdhury.

“In areas where there is agricultural land, it is mostly single-crop and not very fertile,” he said.

State government officials said the company would only develop the land and build infrastructure. It would then invite top manufacturers of automobile ancillaries — both from India and abroad — to set up units here.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had earlier tried to get the automobile giant to set up shop in Bengal, but the state government’s efforts had then failed.

If the project materialises, the company will have a pan-Indian SEZ network. Last year, the company signed a deal with the Maharashtra government for an SEZ in Pune for high-end electronics, computer hardware and information technology. The company already has a presence in south and north India through Mahindra World City projects at Chennai and Jaipur.

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