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Ecology hint on Nayachar

Calcutta, Jan. 21: Prasoon Mukherjee, whose company is involved in the Nayachar project, today fleetingly mentioned at a seminar that he had plans for an eco-tourism project at the site of the proposed chemical hub.

But after the CII seminar on infrastructure, he said the details were still being worked out for the ecology project. He stressed that maximum focus would be given on preserving marine life around the Nayachar island in the Hooghly and just off Haldia.

“We will make a formal announcement of our plans by March-April,” Mukherjee said.

The New Kolkata International Development, which is led by Mukherjee, and the Bengal government have signed a joint venture to form PCR Chemicals Pvt Ltd. PCR Chemicals is the main developer of the 13,000-odd acres of the Nayachar chemical hub.

The project is still waiting for environment clearance from the Union government.

Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee, whose land agitation in Nandigram had forced the government to shift the hub to Nayachar, has opposed the project on the river island, too, citing the possible destruction of marine life.

Local MP Subhendu Adhikari and his father, East Midnapore strongman and a minister for state at the Centre, Sisir Adhikari, have demanded that Nayachar would have to be used for eco-tourism.

A large chunk of the island may not prove useful for the chemical hub as it is part of a coastal regulatory zone.

Mukherjee today said two separate consultants would be appointed to work out what could be done at Nayachar.

The state government, though, has said Nayachar would only be used for industry.

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