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Kolkata tanners in fix over delay in effluent plant

Pratim Ranjan Bose

Kolkata , Aug. 6

THE 25-odd investors in the Calcutta Leather Complex who had commissioned their units on time are finding themselves in a spot.

Despite having received all necessary approvals, none of these units could commence operation as the State Government has not provided access to the central effluent treatment plant (CETP), the nerve centre of the Rs 350-crore project.

The Government has already formally commissioned the effluent treatment plant but preferred not to put it into operation due to objection from some tanners who were supposed to relocate their units from the existing locations in Kolkata to CLC following a Supreme Court order.

"We have completed commissioning of the plant and received necessary approvals from the related authorities, including the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, by June 28," says Mr Khurshid Alam, promoter of Nisha Enterprise, a new investor in the leather industry.

Having invested roughly Rs 1.2 crore, Mr Alam is now knocking at the doors of the State Government and the BOT partner, M L Dalmiya & Co, for connection him to the CEPT.

Just like the investors, the BOT (build, operate and transfer) partner too is caught unaware of the reason behind the delay. "Everything is lying ready. We are not aware why the CEPT is not put to operation," says Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya, hairman of M L Dalmiya & Co, who is also facing the wrath of the affected investors.

The State Government agrees that investors are facing "serious problems" due to the delay. "The CEPT could not be run as some "relocators" objected to the earlier formula for operation of the same", says Mr Sabyasachi Sen, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industry Ministry.

Mr Sen said that some relocators had contradicted the previously agreed formula of transferring the operational rights of CEPT to the BOT partner. "They (relocators) wanted to run it themselves. Accordingly, we had asked them to submit a plan, which has to be agreed upon by all the units."

Though no such plan has been submitted so far, Mr Sen is hopeful that one can be finalised at the earliest. "We will resolve the issue, next week," he promised.

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