CM denies allegations on SEZ land allotment

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Chennai, May 1 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today refuted the allegations made by PMK Supremo S Ramadoss on the allotment of land for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the state.

Replying to a series of questions here, Mr Karunanidhi clarified that his government was transparent in all its dealing over the setting up of SEZ.

Referring to the SEZ coming up at Taramani, the Chief Minister said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between TIDCO and Tata Reality and Infrastructure Limited to start a state-of-the-art SEZ at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore. Also, an MoU was signed with DLF to come up with a SEZ spread over 27 acres.

''For both the ventures, agricultural lands were not acquired.

Also the lands did not belong to the government. The lands at the Film City were not usurped for setting up of SEZ as claimed by Dr Ramadoss,'' he said.

He said ''at a time when there is a race among the states to attract more corporates to start business ventures with an aim to creating more employment opportunity, the PMK leader's demand not to come up with such initiatives in Chennai or anywhere in the state is ridiculous,'' Mr Karunanidhi observed.

Commenting on the PMK leader's charge that posh hotels and apartments would come up in the name of SEZs, Karunanidhi said the SEZs would have conference halls, auditoriums, hostels and multi-storied buildings in a few lakh sq meters. The rest would be occupied by industries and business houses.

Mr Karunanidhi pointed out that when many software companies come up, job opportunities for youngsters would increase manifold. All these were taken into consideration before the MoU was signed.

Without understanding these realities, Ramadoss had opposed the initiative at the infant stage itself.

He also denied the PMK leader's charge that the MoUs were entered into with haste with corporate firms. ''Tenders were floated and after due consideration, we went ahead with the project,'' Mr Karunanidhi said.

The Chief Minister further clarified that the move to come up with SEZs were not aimed at benefitting the ''Tatas or Kishores.'' But it was planned with an objective to help the middle-class by bringing more business firms to the state, he added.

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