A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the proposed deep-sea port at Tajpur will fetch Rs 25,000 crore investment to the state and is ready for bidding, the Opposition BJP on Wednesday questioned the status of the project, saying the state government had earlier said that the project would be developed by the Adani Group.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata on Wednesday, BJP state general secretary Jagannath Chattopadhyay alleged that the Gautam Adani-led group has rejected the Tajpur port project proposal and has now set its eyes on developing the Mandarmani port in Purba Medinipur district.
Accusing the TMC government of “hiding the Mandarmani project by announcing tenders for the Tajpur port” project, the BJP leader asked: “What is the state government’s position on Tajpur port? What is the CM thinking about the alternative land port of Mandarmani? When will the government issue the land acquisition notification for the project.”
“The Adani Group has already rejected the proposal to build a port in Tajpur. Instead, the group has set its eye on the Mandarmani port…In June-July, the Purba Medinipur district administration, Adani Group officials, and the state government had visited the land in that area (Mandarmani port). The government has even identified the land for acquisition,” he added.
The BJP leader alleged that the TMC-led government “had sent a letter to the Union Ministry of Shipping regarding the land acquisition for the Mandarmani project”. Presenting a few documents as evidence, Chattopadhyay said, “A lot of land has been required in Mandarmani to build the port, which the state has to acquire.”
“So far, no notification for land acquisition in Mandarmani has been released by the state government. Any land acquisition has to be notified by the government first. Such notifications had led to the beginning of the Nandigram movement, which later helped the TMC come to power in Bengal…Is the government now changing its land acquisition policy? Why are you so tight-lipped about the Mandarmani project and Adani Group?” the BJP leader asked.
“When the Adani Group is focused on developing the Mandarmani port instead of Tajpur, why was a separate tender called for it (the latter)? Or is the work of the Mandarmani project proceeding with the old tender? Note, that Gautam Adani did not come to BGBS. In their absence, Mamata asked others to re-bid the tender given by them. Why?” he asked.
Chattopadhyay also questioned the profitability of the Tajpur seaport project. “According to officials, if a port is built in Tajpur’s weather conditions, it will not be operational for at least two months in a year… Despite knowing all this, why did Mamata Banerjee announce tenders for the Tajpur port during the Bengal Global Business Summit,” he said.
During the inaugural session of the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata on Tuesday, the chief minister said: “There is a proposed deep sea port at Tajpur. That is ready. You can participate in the tender. This will attract an investment of $3 billion or ?25,000 crore.”
The state government had earlier announced that the Tajpur port project would be developed by Adani Ports and SEZ Limited (APSEZ). Neither the TMC nor the Adani Group reacted to the allegations levelled by the BJP. —With PTI inputs