Biggest land acquisition in West Bengal soon
A decision of the Left Front government in December 2010, to acquire 3, 600 acres of land at Gourandi and Banjemari mouzas of Burdwan district to build a housing project for the people evicted by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) for its mining projects has been re-approved by the Commece and Industries Department, and the proposal will be placed before the state cabinet for its re-validation.
“Minister for Commerce and Industries Partha Chatterjee has given his seal of approval, and it is going to be put before the cabinet shortly,” an official of Land and Land Reforms Department told The Indian Express. The project will be executed by Assansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) at a cost of Rs 2,650 crore. While the state government through ADDA will acquire the land, the money for the project will be given by the ECL.
The then Left Front government could not go ahead with the project because of opposition by some of the land owners. As the 2011 Assembly elections were drawing near, then Left Front government, stung by land problems, decided to shelve the proposal.
The Trinamool government decided to revive the project after conducting a survey. “We have arrived at a tentative figure of providing rehabilitation to 40,000 families,” said Antara Acharya, CEO of ADDA. The families were displaced by ECL’s mining activities in Burdwan district.
Government officials said the land is being taken to fulfil a “public purpose” and the policies of the present governemnt are not being compromised. “It is not being taken for setting up any private industry. The project is for the benefit of poor people,’’ an official of the department told The Indian Express.
There were about 32,000 families whose land is being taken for the housing project and 50 per cent of them are squatters, said ADDA. While for “genuine” land owners, the government will compensate according to the provisions of Land Acuisition Act of 1884, for the squatters, the government is working out a compensation package. Sources said the compensation to the squatters will be similar to the one awarded to farmers in South 24-Parganas district whose land was taken for building embankments for resisting cyclones like Aila.
The “genuine’ landowners will be paid the price in accordance with the market value — a solatium of 30 per cent of the market value and some more small benefits. “A large chunk of the land (for the housing project) is barren. Even though there is some agricultural land, all are single crop ones. There had been some opposition from some of those who were encroachers and we have overcome them. Negotiations are on to pay them some amount of compensation too,’’ Acharya said.
Exclusive Bench to hear cases of crimes against women
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court has constituted a separate appellate bench (Division Bench) to hear cases of crimes against women. Justices Nadira Patheriya and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhury will constitute the bench. The single bench of Justice Toufiq Uddin will now hear cases on crimes against women, apart from other crimes.
Fast-track courts order jail for two for raping minors
Raiganj: A fast-track court in Raiganj in North Dinajpur district on Tuesday sentenced a 33-year-old to life imprisonment for raping an 18-month-old. The crime was committed last February. Another fast-track court in the district, meanwhile, sent a 25-year-old to seven years in jail for raping a 16-year-old girl in 2009.
New STF to stop harassment of women on Metro
Kolkata:Taking a cue from the recent incidents of sexual harassment of women on Metro, a Special Task Force has been put up by the RPF for the Metro Rail to nab offenders within the Metro premises. The squad will be headed by a woman assistant sub-inspector. Two helpline numbers — 9007041789 and 9007041908 — have been also started.
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