Special Correspondent

Wood-based raw material to be sourced captively

Bhattacharjee launches networking backbone

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadadeb Bhattacharjee has announced the setting up of a Rs. 2,200-crore integrated pulp and paper project in West Medinipur. The project, being proposed by the Emami Group, will be the first such major greenfield paper unit in the State in recent times.

Talking to the media after signing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Emami and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), State Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen said WBIDC would hand over 700 acres out of the 1,415 acres required for the project. “The company will have to acquire the rest directly,” he said. The MOA was signed in the presence of the chief minister and the joint chairmen of Emami Group, R. S. Goenka, and R. S. Agarwal.

Emami Director Aditya Agarwal said part of the wood-based raw material required would be sourced from captive plantation. Emami already runs two paper and newsprint plants (one each in Orissa and West Bengal).

Later, during the day, Mr. Bhattacharjee launched a computer networking backbone for the State called WBSWAN (West Bengal State Wide Area Network). This will provide the facility of connecting all the block offices with the districts, sub-divisions and the State headquarters. This is part of a national e-governance project which was launched in Burdwan in 2001. It is now being extended and the government plans to extend the facility to all gram panchayats in due course. Mr. Bhattacharjee said in the age of competitiveness, fast and efficient communication at different levels plays a major role.