Ms. Banerjee said the new airport — to be named after Kazi Nazrul Islam, who was born in Bardhaman district — was likely to commence operations in April 2014

Naming the country’s first private sector airport project after a revolutionary Bengali poet, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wooed industry, saying there was no problem with land availability.

“West Bengal has forests, it has seas, a conducive atmosphere and cheap labour… what more do you want?” she asked the gathering at Andal, near Durgapur, where an airport city is being readied.

Conscious of the battering the State’s image took as an investment-friendly destination in the aftermath of the Singur land agitation, Ms. Banerjee said, “There is no problem with land ... come up with your complete proposal.”

She also mentioned the various projects under implementation in this region which would provide employment to one lakh youths. All these projects, including the one she rolled out on Thursday, were conceived during the previous regime. Ms. Banerjee said the new airport — to be named after Kazi Nazrul Islam, who was born in Bardhaman district — was likely to commence operations in April 2014 and act as the gateway to the north-east. The airport project is being implemented by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd together with the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation. It is slated to become the first among 21 such projects in the country, BAPL sources said. The project envisages developing an airport, an industrial zone, a logistics hub, an IT park and a township. “It will usher in a new era for West Bengal,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Partha Ghosh, founder-director and CEO, BAPL, said the airport would soon be ready. BAPL would obtain final stage approval from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation after completing its job of realigning an extra high voltage transmission line within this year. Incorporated in 2007, BAPL is promoted by Changi Airports India Pte., a subsidiary of Changi Airports International, Singapore, and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. among others.

RELATED NEWS

Singur land is my guarantee, says MamataSeptember 20, 2013