No progress on Murshidabad e-bus factory since last year's Bengal Global Business Summit
Telegraph | 21 November 2023
An electric bus manufacturing unit that was supposed to come up at Rejinagar in Murshidabad after an MoU was signed during last year’s Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) did not make much progress, said Swapan Kumar Bhattacharya, the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Murshidabad.
The revelation came as an embarrassment for the state government on the eve of this year’s BGBS.
“It was announced during last year’s BGBS that an e-Bus manufacturing unit would be set up in Rejinagar. It was supposed to put an end to the draught of industries in a district like Murshidabad providing benefits to the common people of the district. Unfortunately, there were no follow-ups in this regard over the past one year or so,” said Bhattacharya.
Sources in the state industries department said that an MoU was signed with the Causis E-Mobility Private Limited, an electric mobility set up, in the last year’s BGBS to set up a manufacturing unit for e-buses in Rejinagar.
“But there was no such progress on the project yet as the government is yet to receive a concrete proposal to this effect… Usually, it takes some time before a project takes a proper shape. So, we are not losing hope on this project,” said a senior government official.
According to sources, the state government was supposed to allot 50 to 100 acres of land in Raninagar for the proposed manufacturing unit.
“As per the primary proposal, the company was supposed to roll out the first electric bus from the factory by February, 2023… Now, it is clear that the deadline will be deferred. It is definitely awkward for the state government,” said a bureaucrat.
Another official said that the company had proposed to invest to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore in the state and was supposed to produce 1,500 electric buses per annum as per demand. The plant was supposed to generate direct employment for 1,250 people.
“Murshidabad was selected for this unit as it was considered that the riverine location would help the company to bring in necessary equipment for the manufacturing unit,” said an official.
Arghyaprasun Quazi, executive director of West Bengal Small Industry Development Corporation (W.B.S.I.D.C), said: “The West Bengal Industry Development Corporation (WBIDC) is looking into the setting up of the E-bus factory. We are responsible for the developments in the industrial belt in Rejinagar. However, nobody contacted us in this regard so far.”
The industrial belt in Murshidabad was established in 2008 by the former chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, spanning across 187 acres of land.
Located at a distance of 3km from Rejinagar Railway station, near the National Highway 12, the land stayed bereft of the touch of any industrialists or investors for 15 long years since it was declared an industrial park.
Sources in the micro, small and medium industries department said that 30 per cent of the 187 acres of land remained unsold. The remaining 70 per cent did not bear any fruit.