West Bengal PCPIR facing resistance from environmental groups and political rivals

The West Bengal PCPIR to be located in Nayachar, is facing resistance from environmental groups and political rivals. Nayachar was chosen primarily for its proximity to Haldia. Indonesia’s Salim group is looking to develop the hub in coordination with the state-run refiner Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) based on an agreement signed in September 2006. The proposed complex will cover an area of 250.19 sq km, including 200.83 sq km on the mainland and 49.36 sq km on the Nayachar island. Earlier, a similar plan met with violent resistance in September 2007 in nearby Nandigram, but had to be stalled on violent protests by the opposition. Environmental advocates, fishermen and a powerful political party have challenged the relocation to Nayachar, a the proposed PCPIR will be barely 10 kilometres from the Sundarbans archipelago at the mouth of Bay of Bengal, home to a huge variety of marine life, endangered tigers and the world’s largest mangrove gene pool. The archipelago is already threatened by rising sea waters caused by global warming. Tidal influx will bring any contamination to Sundarbans and all the municipalities that draw water from river Hooghly.
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