West Bengal government's withdrawal from Haldia Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) project welcomed
Written By krishna on Friday, October 26, 2012 | 12:01 AM
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) welcomes West Bengal government's decision to withdraw from Haldia Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) project. This proposal in an ecologically fragile coastal zone faced resistance from environmental groups. Central government acceded to the decision of the West Bengal government to develop an industrial park, power plant and an eco tourism park on Nayachar Island in Haldia, Purba Medinipur district, instead of the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) project proposed by it earlier in pursuance of its PCPIR policy. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had earlier, on February 23, 2009 approved the state government's proposal to set up a PCPIR in the Haldia Municipal Area and Nayachar Island. Union cabinet had approved the PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Regions) to be set up in Haldia. The proposed PCPIR was spread over a contiguous area of more than 250 Sq. Km. – comprising of Haldia Mainland and Nayachar Island under HMA(Haldia Municipal Authority) and HDA(Haldia Development . JURONG Consultants, Singapore is the technical consultant of the project had carried out the site evaluation and feasibility study for Nayachar Island, The School of Oceanographic Engineering & Dept of Construction Engineering, Jadavpur University prepared a “Feasibility Study on Nayachar Island for Industrial & Commercial activities”. Engicon India Pvt Ltd conducted a Sub-surface Geo-Technical Investigation. Envirotech Pvt Ltd carried out EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) studies. This project is around 10 kilometres from the Sundarbans archipelago at the mouth of Bay of Bengal. It is home to a huge variety of marine life, endangered tigers and the world’s largest mangrove gene pool. The proposed PCPIR consisted of 108.42 sq.km. (27,104 acres)of processing area and non-processing area is 141.78 sq.km. (35,444 acres) of non-processing area. The targeted investment for PCPIR was Rs. 93,180 crore, of which Rs. 48,180 crore was committed. When the policy on the PCPIR was announced in May 2007, the then Union chemicals, fertilizer and steel minister had said that the project would attract an investment of $8 billion. IOC was identified as the Anchor Tenant along with CALS Refinery. A JV Company PCRCPL between WBIDC and NKID was to undertake infrastructural development of the PCPIR. The Government of West Bengal was to hold equity of this project through WBIDC. This chemical hub project was challenged by environmental activists and fishermen and the opposition party, Tirnamool Congress which is now in power.