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Mamata pulls up Ruia, Dalmiya for delay in projects


Kolkata : Two industrialists – Pawan Kumar Ruia and cricket czar Jagmohan Dalmiya – were Friday pulled up by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for failing to execute projects.

Banerjee, participating in an interaction with industrial chambers here, criticised the Ruia Group chairman for not delivering orders for railway rakes on time and asked him about the status of his closed Dunlop factory at Shahgunj in West Bengal.

“What are your plans with your Shahgunj factories? Will you open the entire factory at all? Or are you selling the surplus land within the factory premises?” she asked.

Ruia was at a loss for words before the deluge of questions, and could only mumble: “There are necessary issues for the company. Look…matters are being sorted out.”

But Banerjee continued. “Just see, he is not delivering despite being given orders. Why don’t you carry out the orders?”

In the same vein, Banerjee asked him: “Have you closed Jessop?”

“When did I close it?” Ruia said.

Ruia owns heavy engineering and infrastructure firm Jessop & Company that manufactures railway rakes.

The industrialist later told reporters: “I think she has a wrong conception. Maybe in one or two months, due to lesser production we could not deliver on time.”

He added that the Ruia Group’s Dunlop India Ltd, which could not re-start work at Shahgunj in the absence of electricity connection after it re-opened March 6, would begin operations shortly.

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya also had a similar fate when Banerjee questioned him about the progress of the Calcutta Leather Complex in Bantala on the eastern fringes of the city.

The 1,100-acre Bantala plot was given to Dalmiya’s company, ML Dalmiya & Co, on a 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for Rs.16 crore (Rs160 million) in 1994.

She asked about the problems Dalmiya faced in implementing the project.

Dalmiya said: “Electricity and water are not the problem. There are problems with regard to the effluent treatment plant. But if we get an extension, that can be taken care of.”