Saturday, March 28, 2009

Raise Your Voice against the proposed Chemical Hub at Nayachar, West Bengal, India.

[Nayachar, an island at the southern part of West Bengal has been selected as the place for proposed Chemical hub. In the costal region, how such a project got the permission is surprising. There is enough reason to believe that, just to find a place near Haldia Petrochemical Industries, instead of Nandigram, govt. has selected Nayachar for chemical hub. According to the govt. claim, the project will generate million of employment. However, as it will be a special economic zone (SEZ), existing labour laws will not be followed and companies will enjoy huge tax exemption.
Till 25 March 2009, our major concern regarding the proposed petro-chemical industry at Nayachar was its impact on the ecological diversity in this region because of its environmental pollution and severe exploitation it would resort over there. The devastation could be as severe as the extinction of some fishes in the Ganga River.
But, on 25 March 2009, Mr. Prasoon Mukherjee, one of the developers of the proposed hub have come up with a new proposal—the filling up of some part of the Hoogly river to make a road between Haldia and Nayachar, the island. It is well known that any change in the flow of river is actually dangerous as the river has to take the revenge in its due course. It is one of the heinous attempts to shamelessly destroy nature and environment for sake of securing maximum profit, whose expense for sure ultimately have to be paid by natural disaster. This incident once again shows that the exploitation for maximum profit is the root cause of the destruction of environment and nature. Nature and environment is no longer safe in this imperialist-capitalist system. The following News was published in the Statesman on 26 March 2009 under the title "Haldia lifeline may make way for road".]

KOLKATA, March 25: In a proposal that would be the death knell of Haldia port if accepted, the consortium developing the proposed chemical hub at Nayachar has suggested blocking the river channel between the island and the mainland, considered to be the lifeline of the port.
The New Kolkata Infrastructure Development (NKID) has proposed that a link road between Nayachar island and the mainland be built over the channel, which is heavily silted up.
Mr Prasoon Mukherjee of NKID said: “ The channel is not navigable any more and ships cannot use it. Nearly Rs 300 crore is being spent annually for dredging the channel. If Kolkata Port Trust is willing and the eco-system permits, the state government can approach the Centre to build a road between Haldia and the island.”
Incidentally, when Mr Mukherjee along with Mr Philip Yeo, special economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Singapore, visited Nayachar on Sunday, their vessel got struck in the silt.
"Nayachar is viable. It is in a far better state than Judong Island before it was developed,” he said. However, he hastily added that if the proposal is not accepted, the developer will build a bridge “when necessary”.
The state government has been trying to draw the attention of the Union shipping ministry to speed up dredging to increase the navigability of the river channel, since the number of large vessels coming to Haldia port has dwindled due to poor draught. In fact the chief secretary, Mr AM Chakraborti, will meet the Union Cabinet secretary and shipping secretary tomorrow to discuss the deployment of more quality dredgers to save the port.
NKID on the other hand, is setting up a private deep sea port and will not be in any way dependent on Haldia port.
Mr Mukherjee also said that they will not begin construction at Nayachar unless they get environmental clearance and soil tests are completed. Since environmental clearance itself will take up a year, it is unlikely that the CPI-M's flagship for industrialisation in this election will be kickstarted in the next two years, as Mr Mukherjee himself admitted.

1 comment:

basant said...

We can not raise our voice against Proposed Chemical Hub not not to Repeat what happened in Singur, Please stop Playing Dirty Politics over Industrialisation.