Bengal rejects the agreement for the proposed Nayachar chemical centre

Bengal government terminated agreement with Salem group to build chemical center in Nayachar . Nayachar was intended to be a chemical hub but now serves as a fishing island .

Kolkata, Oct. 1, Bengal chief secretary H K Dwivedi announced on Thursday that the state government had terminated an agreement with the Salem group pertaining to the construction of a new chemical center in East Midnapores Nayachar.Instead of focusing on the chemical hub, Dwivedi said that the state cabinet had decided to open an aqua park and solar hub in Nayachar in mid-April, which was once intended to be a chemical hub but now serves as a fishing island.The Trinamool Congress government announced that it would close the Petroleum, Chemical, and Petroleum Investment Region (PCPIR) at Nayachar in 2011 immediately after taking office.The island, according to the state, falls under the coastal protection category, in which trade is forbidden.

The Left Front government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee gave permission to the Indonesia-based Salim group in February 2008.The Salim group formed a joint venture with WBIDC for the 54sq km island, which was supported by the New Kolkata Infrastructure Development (NKID), and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Chemicals Pvt Ltd. (APCRC) was a grouping of companies named after Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which was supposed to be the central investor.The proposal was then met with a vehement opposition from the Left Front government, which appointed Jurong Consultants in Singapore to investigate the feasibility of setting up the PCPIR in Nayachar, citing the consultant's land mass as being stable.However, at the time, several experts believed that the island could also be used as an eco-industrial hub, and that they had cited international examples in this regard.

Since Nayachar is a fragile area with a deteriorating soil environment, coastal laws mandate that it be used for sustainable growth as no major renovation can be carried out on the island.The state government wanted to promote aquaculture.