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Projects to promote trade on anvil

Siliguri, Jan. 11: Foundation stones for three projects that will promote industry and commerce in the region will be laid this week in Siliguri and its suburbs.

Union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh and Bengal industries minister Nirupam Sen will be here on January 15 to lay the foundation stones for a Tea Park — the first of its kind in the country and second in the world after Dubai — an Inland Container Depot (ICD) and a Light Engineering Park.

“The Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) has purchased plots at New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Matigara from the railways and the state sericulture department respectively for setting up the three projects,” urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya said here this afternoon.

The tea park, a Rs 24.33 crore project to be developed on 50 acres near the NJP railway station, will work for integration of tea production and processing.

It will have production units for small gardens, Bhattacharya, who is also the SJDA chairman, said.

“The park will have infrastructure like roads, power facilities, water supply, drainage and sewerage and tea research centre. A building, which will house banks, canteens, first-aid centre and centres for businessmen and brokers, will be built there,” he said.

The construction is expected to complete within a year. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 16 crore under the Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development for Exports Scheme.

The second project, an ICD or dry port, will be built next to the tea park with Rs 25.27 crore. The Centre has disbursed Rs 20 crore for the project, which is likely to complete within 15 months.

The light engineering park will be raised at a cost of Rs 30.91 crore in association with the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation in a three-acre plot off NH31. “We expect that around 2,500 people will get employment from the project,” he said.

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