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Salim group's 2-wheler plant Bengal CM lays foundation stone

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The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, along with Mr Beni Santoso (middle), Dr Gulabi Sinduwinata (left) of Salim Group of Indonesia, and Mr Nirupam Sen (right), Bengal Minister for Commerce and Industry, are at the stone laying ceremony of the Mahabharat Motors Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd in Uluberia near Kolkata on Wednesday. - A. Roy Chowdhury
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, along with Mr Beni Santoso (middle), Dr Gulabi Sinduwinata (left) of Salim Group of Indonesia, and Mr Nirupam Sen (right), Bengal Minister for Commerce and Industry, are at the stone laying ceremony of the Mahabharat Motors Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd in Uluberia near Kolkata on Wednesday. - A. Roy Chowdhury

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Feb. 15

WORK ON eastern India's first two-wheeler project was flagged off on Wednesday with the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, laying the foundation stone of a motorcycle factory that would be set up by the Salim Group of Indonesia at Uluberia on the outskirts of Kolkata at a cumulative investment of $250 million.

Spread over 65 acres of land provided by the State Government, the factory would be set up under the banner of Salim Group company Mahabharat Motors Manufacturing Pvt Ltd, and the two-wheelers would be sold under the brand name, Arjun.

In the first phase, an investment of $60 million would be made and the factory would be equipped to manufacture 60,000 motorcycles per annum. This would gradually be ramped up to 500,000 units per annum. From 500 people initially, the plant would engage 6,000 workers when it operates at peak capacity.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bhattacharjee said that thanks to multi-cropping in West Bengal, the people in the semi-urban and rural areas of the State had the resources to purchase two-wheelers and other industrial goods. This was borne out by the fact that Rs 14,000 crore worth of industrial goods were sold across rural West Bengal annually.

Later, he also laid the foundation stone of an integrated satellite township project that was being set up by the Salim Group in Howrah district. Spread over 390 acres of land, the Kolkata West International City would have 6,900 dwelling units along with a host of other facilities.

Speaking at both the functions, Mr Benny Santoso, Chief Executive of the Salim Group, said the Indonesian business house with diverse business interests was keen to contribute and partake in the development of West Bengal.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 16, 2006)
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