Uttarpara (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday warned that her government will take back lands given to firms for setting up industrial units but are lying unused, so that new ventures are established.
Speaking at a programme of private firm Titagarh Wagons here in Hooghly district, Banerjee asked the chief secretary to look into the idle land of sick automobile maker Hindustan Motors (HM) and consider taking it back as the state government wants to build an industrial zone there.
She said to the CK Birla Group which owns HM, “You took 700 acres of land to set up industry. Why is it lying unused?”
Banerjee was apparently annoyed that Titagarh Wagons did not get an additional five acres of land at its Uttarpara plant for its new modern Metro coach factory. HM’s plant is adjacent to that of Titagarh Wagons which was set up on 30 acres.
HM, which has already sold several land parcels from its 700-acre plot in Uttarpara, recently announced interest in starting an electric two-wheeler plant at this site.
The chief minister also showed keenness to set up an engineering school in Uttarpara area to benefit locals.
On industrialisation in West Bengal, the chief minister said the state has received investment proposals valued at Rs 1 lakh crore in the last one year while a total of Rs 15 lakh crore will be invested over a period of time.
She said that three industrial corridors – Dankuni-Kalyani, Dankuni-Haldia and Dankuni-Raghunathpur – will help several districts as investments will come and generate employment.
She asserted that a deep sea port will come up at Tajpur.
However, Banerjee reiterated that her government will not take land forcibly.
She was speaking about the Deocha Pachami coal mine project in Birbhum district, which is facing resistance from local people who are afraid of eviction.
“Work at Deocha Pachami has started. We have found good quality coal,” Banerjee said.
She also spoke about huge investments lined up in the oil and gas sector by private entities like Essar and Great Eastern Energy and public sector ONGC.
Meanwhile, HM’s CITU union in an open letter to the government sought its intervention in reopening the plant and resumption of essential services in staff quarters.