Millennium Post

Production at Deocha Pachami coal block to start in 2 years, says Mamata

Digha (East Midnapore): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced at the dais of the Business Conclave at Digha that production from the world's second largest coal block at Deocha Pachami in Birbhum will start within 24 months.

Coal mining will first commence from the Dewanganj Harshingha block located in the western fringe of the district, where the land belongs to the government and there is no need to acquire any land.

West Bengal Power Development Corporation has been allotted the Deocha Pachami block at the south western part of Birbhum. The Centre has also allotted the Dewanganj Harsingha block in the western fringe of the district. Both these blocks are together called Deocha Pachami.

"We are very eager to start the project immediately. But there are some areas in the coal block where we need to acquire land. We will hold talks with the local people and work will start only after everything is settled and the locals are properly rehabilitated. But in the remaining part of the coal block, namely Dewanganj Harsingha where there is no issue, we will start work within seven days and within 24 months we will start coal production," Banerjee said at the concluding session of the two-day Business Conclave at Digha Convention Centre.

The Chief Minister reiterated that once the coal block is made operational, there will be no problem with respect to power supply for 100 years. Employment has always been the thrust area of the state government since it assumed power for the first time in 2011 and once operational, this coal block has the potential of generating employment for one lakh people.

She further pointed out that Bengals' emphasis on the MSME sector for the last eight years has borne fruits and presently the state is the best in the sector.

This is significant as there is acute crisis across the country because of economic disaster and recession.

"We have a comprehensive plan of action in the MSME sector. Banks have funded Rs 2,16,000 crore in this sector till date and 40 lakh MSME units have been funded. The employment generated has been over 3 crore," she added.

Banerjee further said that henceforth, all relief materials required after any sort of natural disaster will be procured from the state's own cooperative societies through Tantuja.

This will help more than 20,000 artisans in the state and an additional 25 lakh man-days will be created in the next three years, she maintained.

According to Banerjee, the sale of products of the West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board has gone up by 30 percent, while the handloom sector has witnessed a 17-fold growth.

She thanked the business delegation from 20 countries across the world like Korea, Singapore, UAE, France, Argentina, Estonia, Thailand, Japan, China, Singapore, Bangladesh and Bhutan to name a few, who attended the two-day conclave and invited them to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit 2020, to be held on December 15 and 16 at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town.

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