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State to sign Nayachar kick-off pact

Calcutta, Feb. 14: The state will sign an agreement with a new company tomorrow to push the chemical hub project on Nayachar island forward.

The pact will grant the company legal sanction to start work on the project although the Centre is yet to approve it.

PCR Chemicals Pvt Ltd will be the anchor developer of the hub. The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation owns 49 per cent stake in the company and the rest is controlled by the New Kolkata International Development (NKID) of the Indonesian Salim Group, Delhi’s Unitech Ltd and Calcutta’s Universal Success.

The state had signed a deal with the NKID in 2006 for the project, which was earlier planned in Nandigram.

NKID spokesperson Prasun Mukherjee met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Writers’ Buildings today to discuss the new pact that will mark the change of location.

The state government has appointed an experts’ committee to prepare an environment impact assessment report. The Geological Survey of India, too, will conduct soil tests on the island.

The NKID has appointed Jurong Consultants for conducting tests as the agency has done similar work in Singapore, an industry department official said.

Asked about the meeting with the chief minister, Mukherjee said: “Nothing significant happened today but there will be a review of the chemical hub project. If there’s any information to give out, it can be done tomorrow.”

S.A. Ahmed, the officer on special duty in the chief minister’s secretariat, said a brief meeting on Nayachar was likely tomorrow after which details could be made public. “We may be able to throw some light tomorrow,” he said.

According to an environment department official, the Centre has not yet demarcated areas in Nayachar under the different grades of the coastal regulation zone. “It is the Centre’s job to label areas under coastal regulation zone I or III. The state government has nothing to do with this. Till now, no such classification has taken place,” he said.

However, the land reforms department has handed over the land for the chemical hub to the industry department. The fisheries department had earlier transferred the area to the land department.

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