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Mishra urges Modi to revive two closed urea plants in Bengal

Kolkata : Calling upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure revival of two closed urea units of Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation at Durgapur and Haldia in West Bengal, CPI-M Surjya Kanta Mishra on Monday expressed dismay over the central government deciding to reopen three other plants elsewhere while overlooking the interests of the state.

In a letter to the prime minister, Mishra said the union government has very recently taken a decision for revival of three closed urea manufacturing PSU units at Barauni (Bihar), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Sindri (Jharkhand).

The decision was taken following the announcement by the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) to extend the gas pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia.

“Incidentally, these two units in West Bengal, at Durgapur and Haldia, will fall enroute the 2,500 km stretch of pipeline extension for the GAIL project,” said Mishra, also the leader of opposition, in the letter.

Both Durgapur and Haldia plants of HFCL were closed down during 2002-03 along with Barauni unit of HFCL and Sindri, Talcher, Ramagundam and Gorakhpur units of Fertiliser Corporation of India “on the plea of higher production cost and the then availability of urea in the international market at a cheaper rate”, the missive said.

Subsequently, the unon government decided to revive Talcher and Ramangundam units of FCIL.

“Now the decision to revive the three units (Barauni, Gorakhpur and Sindri) leaving behind the two units in West Bengal clearly indicates that he interest of the state has been once again overlooked by the union government.

“In the circumstances, I would request you kindly to issue necessary instructions for the revival of the two closed urea manufacturing plants at Durgapur and Haldia at an early date,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist leader.

In a separate letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mishra requested her to take up the matter “to protect the interest of the state”.

“I would further request you to kindly consider resolving the issue of residential problems of the ex-employees of the units.”