The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nayachar long haul

Calcutta, Sept. 13: Any news on Nayachar is unlikely to come before mid-2008, the Geological Survey of India team that went to the island yesterday has said.

Sujit Das Gupta, the director (programming and management) of the GSI, today said: “We will need at least six months to complete the detailed geological study in Nayachar.”

The island has been marked as an alternative site for a chemical hub that was to come up in Nandigram previously.

The GSI’s study would begin only after the state greenlights its proposal for a geo-technical survey and the two sides sign a memorandum of understanding, Das Gupta said.

“The study can be started only after the monsoon, once the area has adequately dried. That will not be possible in at least another couple of months,” said Biplab Mukherjee, the deputy director-general of the GSI, who led the team to Nayachar yesterday.

The GSI experts listed the important areas for the study. One of them said: “The priority areas in this case may be preparation of a detailed locational map and contours, judging the load-bearing capacity of the island, bathymetry (depth of water), drilling aspects and studying how old the land is, if possible.”

Das Gupta said: “The GSI has no geo-technical information regarding Nayachar as no site-specific study was ever carried out there, except for a routine one in 1985.”

“There is no doubt that Nayachar is located in a dynamic zone and few can predict what may happen to the island in future,” a geologist previously with the GSI said. But he cited the example of Ghoramara island. Close to Nayachar, this island has gradually reduced in size over the past few years.

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