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Bengal to seek expertise from Singapore, Dubai

Our Bureau

Feasibility studies pertaining to the setting up of a new international airport here and a health city in and around the present airport area have been undertaken.

Kolkata , Jan. 18

THE West Bengal Government will seek the expertise of countries such as Singapore and Dubai in setting up a health city, a sea port and a latest international airport in the State.

Addressing a special plenary session on West Bengal at the CII Partnership Summit here on Wednesday, the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said the Planning Commission was conducting a feasibility study with regard to the setting up of a sea port on the Shanghai model in West Bengal.

Feasibility studies pertaining to the setting up of a new international airport here and a health city in and around the present airport area have been undertaken. When they are concluded, the State Government would contact companies in Singapore and Dubai for their participation in these projects, Mr Bhattacharjee said.

According to him, the State Government is focused on upgrading the existing infrastructure and setting up new infrastructure facilities that would be commensurate with the economic growth that has been taking place in the State. Already, a technology hub is being set up at an investment of Rs 400 crore. A Singapore-based company has expressed its desire to set up an advanced logistics hub in Howrah district.

GDP ranked third: Speaking on the occasion, the West Bengal's Minister for Industry & Commerce, Mr Nirupam Sen, said the State'sgross domestic product at $21 billion was ranked third in the country. In 2004, 196 projects entailing an investment of $522 million were implemented in the State. From an investment of Rs 450 crore in 1992-93, West Bengal has been attracting an investment of around Rs 2,000 crore "in each of the last few years," he said.

Mr Sen said sector-specific parks were being set up in the State as part of the infrastructure augmentation exercise. These include 12 IT parks, a biotech park and a chemicals park.

Pact with Italy: At the special plenary session, the State Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Italy for implementation of water supply and solid waste management projects in 14 towns in West Bengal. The implementation of these projects would entail an investment of Rs 157 crore. Of this, an amount of Rs 132 crore (25 million euros) would be provided as assistance by Italy.

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