Home India News Industrialisation not at the cost of agriculture: Buddhadeb

Industrialisation not at the cost of agriculture: Buddhadeb


Agartala : The West Bengal government will neither apply force nor go against the people's wishes in setting up industries in the state, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said here Sunday while on a daylong visit to the northeastern state of Tripura.

"West Bengal will protect and further develop agriculture and the gains of land reforms will not be undermined. But the emphasis on industrialisation will not be given up," Bhattacharya told a massive gathering here, organised to mark completion of 30 years of Left Front rule in West Bengal.

"The Left parties will tell people across the country about the real story behind the Singur and Nandigram episodes in West Bengal," the chief minister said.

He said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government has shelved the plan to set up a chemical hub at Nandigram in East Midnapore district and was now looking for an alternative place for the project.

According to him, the project would provide direct employment to over 100,000 people, besides creation of downstream projects.

"Massive development will take place after setting up of automobile factory by Tata Motors at Singur in Hooghly district," Bhattacharya said.

In both places, people have opposed acquisition of farmland – in Singur for the Tata Motors' small car project and in Nandigram for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

At least 14 people were killed in clashes with police in Nandigram March 14.

"We shall go for an industrialisation with small and medium industries after making the agriculture grow in a strong foundation," Bhattacharya said, adding that the state government has received four proposals for big steel projects, including one by the Jindal Group.

He said the Jindal group would be commissioning the Rs.350 billion steel project on 4,000 acres of land in West Midnapore district.

"During the British regime, Bengal was No.1 in India in industrial sector. But after the independence the state had suffered in industrialisation due to licensing policies of successive central governments. We shall again restore glory of Bengal to become a leading state in industrialisation."

The chief minister said the Left parties have alternative proposals for unemployed youths, farmers, women as well as organised and unorganised labourers.

Without naming the opposition Trinamool Congress, Bhattacharya said, "in our state we have an opposition party which is always against development unlike any other state."