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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Infrastructure oil in Tata plant wheels
- Plan to undo rain damage

Calcutta, Oct 25: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government will pump in more than Rs 150 crore for building primary infrastructure in Singur to speed up work at the Tata Motors plant.

The government’s blueprint for developing the Singur site includes a Rs 70-crore water treatment plant, a Rs 24-crore drainage upgrade plan and building roads, a bridge and a flyover.

The power department will get two 220KV high-tension connections from the Arambagh-Rishra line over the National Highway to serve the small-car plant along with its vendors and ancillary units.

A 220KV power sub-station is also being set up exclusively for Singur at a cost of Rs 60 crore.

Work at the Tata project had come to a halt for a month during this year’s monsoon. The Julkia canal, which runs through Singur, had overflowed and flooded the area.

The factory was hit the hardest in September when its boundary wall went under five feet of water, submerging equipment worth Rs 1 crore.

Tata officials fear this will push back the rollout of the small car, scheduled for June 2008, by a couple of months.

Company officials said work at the factory was yet to get back to full swing because the soil was still soft from the weeks of waterlogging.

At a meeting in Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday, the chief minister discussed the infrastructure blueprint for the Tata plant with industries minister Nirupam Sen and officials of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and the irrigation and power departments.

“At present, the area doesn’t have any drainage system. Singur is low-lying and saucer-shaped, and the problem is compounded with the Julkia canal and the Ghiakunti river running through it,” said a senior government official.

“The drainage upgrade will also include dredging the canal and the riverbed to remove silt,” he added.

To carry out the infrastructure plan, the government will have to acquire some more land outside the project area.

It was also decided at Tuesday’s meeting that the PWD would build a bridge over the Julkia canal at Dopaghata.

The WBIDC is going to commission a 10-million-gallon water treatment plant at Serampore for Rs 70 crore. Around five million gallons will be consumed by the car plant. The rest will go to the vendors and ancillary units.

In addition to the roads, the PWD will build a flyover connecting the project area to National Highway 2. “We’ve already written to the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) seeking the necessary clearances,” an official said.

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