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No SEZ in Nandigram: Buddha

Faced with stiff and prolonged resistance, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has decided not to set up his pet Special Economic Zone project at Nandigram and has asked his party and his officials to find an alternative site.

The decision was taken after leaders from East Midnapore unit of the party reported that the people of Nandigram would not accept eviction particularly because setting up the SEZ would mean demolition of religious sites of the minorities. The police are yet to enter the troubled area for over a month now as all approach roads to Nandigram still remain cut.


Party insiders said priority was being given to find the alternative site in the East Midnapore district itself or else the entire string of projects including the other SEZ to be set up in Haldia, the Expressway connecting Barasat and Raichak, the bridge connecting Kukrahati and Raichak as well as several townships and a biotech park and health city along the Expressway would become futile. The SEZ and the expressway as well as the townships along it were to be built by the Salim Group of Indonesia.


“Nandigram was an awesome mistake,” the chief minister told RSP leaders on Thursday during a bipartite meeting attended also by other top CPI(M) leaders. “I will strictly follow the decisions to be taken by our four Left parties on the SEZ,” the chief minister told CPI leaders during a bipartite meeting on Wednesday. He repeated it during the meeting with RSP.


Though upbeat that industrial climate “has been looking up in the state since 2005,” the chief minister, however, said that his party would prepare a comprehensive note on the direction his government wanted to take and would finalise it only after discussing it in the Left Front to avoid controversies in future. The government would also place a land map in the coming session of the assembly to demarcate the plots the government would acquire in future for industries and infrastructure, he said.


The CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc, during separate meetings with the CPI(M), have objected to the proposed SEZ project in Nandigram. They have also opposed the chief minister’s efforts to relax land ceiling in the state to make setting up of new industries such as IT and Biotech easier.


Facing stiff opposition from within the Left Front itself, the chief minister has decided not to place amendments to the Land reforms Act in the coming session of the assembly beginning next month.

Email author: alokebanerjee@hindustantimes.com

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posted by Resistance 2/22/2007 10:45:00 PM,

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