The Telegraph
Saturday , September 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Purulia land future

Calcutta, Sept. 28: A 650-acre plot in Purulia is heading towards NRI businessman Prasoon Mukherjee for a power project. The land was originally allotted to Shyam Steel.

The Bengal government is exploring the possibility after Shyam expressed its inability to execute a Rs 4,500-crore steel project on the plot, which is at Raghunathpur. In a recent letter to the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, the steel maker blamed non-availability of coal and the company’s inability to tie up funds.

Bengal commerce and industries minister Partha Chatterjee today said the state government could give the land to Mukherjee’s Universal Success to set up a power plant.

With a cumulative investment of Rs 26,000 crore, Mukherjee had pitched for a power plant and eco-tourism project at Nayachar — the biggest investment so far since Mamata Banerjee’s party came to power.

Mukherjee had planned a chemical hub at Nayachar during the erstwhile Left Front rule. But with the change in government, he flipped his project to a power plant and an eco-tourism hub on Mamata’s insistence.

Now, the entire project has run into trouble following objections raised by the Union environment ministry. The Trinamul government is also facing the heat for failing to showcase any big-ticket investment.

So, Mukherjee has offered to relocate the project to Raghunathpur in a bid to hasten it.

“Shyam Steel is not interested in doing the project. But this does not mean that the land can be left unutilised,” Chatterjee today said.

“They (Universal Success) have asked for land at Raghunathpur. We have land available at the industrial park there. But, we could consider this (transfer of land) as an option,” Chatterjee said. “The matter is with the cabinet.”

The steel projects of Jai Balaji and Adhunik at Raghunathpur are also under cloud following the state government’s warning to these companies to speed up their projects.

Power utility Damodar Valley Corporation has also planned thermal power projects at Raghunathpur.