A pall of gloom descended on West Bengal with the demise of industrialist R.P. Goenka, who passed away on Sunday morning at his residence at the age of 83.

He is survived by his wife Sushila and his sons Harsha Vardhan and Sanjiv. The extended family was at his bedside in Kolkata when the end came.

Mr. Goenka established RPG Enterprises in 1979 - an empire that now straddles across diverse sectors and several countries.

Many said that in post-independence India his contribution to industry was among the highest.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a message that corporate world had lost one of its biggest heroes.

Former Industries Minister Nirupam Sen said that he was personally indebted to R.P. Goenka, who had guided him when the previous Left Front government had embarked on its industrialisation drive.

"When we were trying to attract foreign investment (into a Leftist State) he helped us network with foreign embassies and consulates.

Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the loss was not only to the industry but to the entre State to whom he was like a patriarch.

The last rites of Harvard-educated Goenka will take place on Sunday.

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