Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday held promoters M.L. Dalmiya and Company responsible for the inordinate delay in completing the leather complex at Bantala.
Inaugurating the annual Lexpo exhibition on the Maidan, Bhattacharjee said: “My government does not approve of the company’s lackadaisical manner. We are unhappy and disappointed. They must complete the project as directed by the Supreme Court.”
The apex court had fixed October 30 as the deadline for commencement of operations at the complex. But a large number of tanneries in the Tangra-Tiljala-Topsia belt have refused to shift to the new complex, alleging that it was not ready yet. They have staged protests and disrupted traffic on the Bypass, with support from the workers’ wings of some Left Front allies. But Citu, the CPM’s labour arm, has blamed the tanners for adopting dubious tactics to defer their shift.
Bhattacharjee, too, criticised the tannery-owners on Wednesday. “The Supreme Court will hear the case again on Friday, when we have to report whether or not the city tanneries have shifted. We do not want to be embarrassed in court. Tannery-owners must move into the Bantala complex by Thursday,” stated the chief minister.
Nandagopal Bhattacharya, CPI minister for water resources development, meanwhile, threatened to lead the tannery workers to a sit-in outside Jagmohan Dalmiya’s Alipore house, as “this cricket administrator cum-businessman has betrayed the Left Front government as well as Bengal’s leather industry”.