To get Centre’s nod, govt reworks Nayachar project

Fresh look CRZ norms to be abided, power plant may be shifted out

The Trinamool Congress government is paying heed to the objections raised by the Ministry of Environment and Forest on its ambitious Rs 26,000 crore project in Nayachar. Accordingly, the state government has asked the promoters of the project — the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and the New Kolkata International Development (NKID) — to rework the plan so as to get the environmental clearance.

The new approach comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to the area earlier this week when after reviewing several projects, she had accused the Centre of "trying to subvert industrial development" in the area on environmental reasons.

Following her party's decision to walk out of the UPA government over the issue of FDI in retail, she had slammed the Union government for "dilly-dallying on sanctioning projects" for the region.

However, the state government has now realised that to make the project a reality it has to make certain changes, among which meeting the criteria laid down by Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) Act.

"The entire area of Nayachar island that falls under CRZ Act is about 19,000 acres. As per the Act, one cannot do any construction within 500 metres of the sea coast. So, we are leaving that area, which amounts to about 5,000 acres. We will go ahead with our project in the remaining area of 14,000 acres. Our Chief Minister has publicly said that no one can prevent development of Nayachar as it will generate a lot of employment opportunities. Mamata has told us categorically to go whole hog on this,'' said Suvendu Adhikary, chairman of Haldia Development Authority and Trinamool MP from Tamluk.

"It is evident that the central government is playing a mischief. But now that we are accepting the CRZ norms and they should not have any problem in granting clearance,'' Adhikary said.

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