Uttarakhand govt thinks ‘smart’, trims land demand to 350 acres | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand govt thinks ‘smart’, trims land demand to 350 acres

The Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) on Tuesday said it will only acquire more than a quarter of tea estate land that it was originally supposed to for the smart city project, an official said.

dehradun Updated: Dec 09, 2015 16:00 IST
HT Correspondent
Dehradun

Vice chairman of MDDA, Meenakshi Sundaram addresses a press conference in Dehradun on Tuesday.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT photo)

The Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) on Tuesday said it will only acquire more than a quarter of tea estate land that it was originally supposed to for the smart city project, an official said.

Addressing the media here, MDDA vice chairman Meenakshi Sundaram said the authority will acquire only 350 acres of the total 1,200 acres of tea estate land for the smart city project during the first phase.

The decision to acquire the rest of the tea estate land will be taken by the new government after the 2017 assembly elections in the state, he said.

“Talks are on with the tea estate management to purchase 350 acre but work will only take place on 315 acre in the first phase. The state government has approached the Housing and Urban Development Corporation for Rs 496 crore.”

“Future expansion plans for the project will depend on the next government that is elected in 2017.”

He said the CM Harish Rawat himself has asked the MDDA acquire only 350 acres and future expansion will take place later.

Clarifying about the construction of an air strip for project close to the Indian Military Academy, Sundaram said: “The IMA area is not a no-fly zone. Neither the IMA administration has raised any objection to the air strip.”

The first phase of the smart city project which will comprise of the acquired tea estate land, will be developed as knowledge hub that will include premier educational institutes, he said.

Meanwhile, agitating tea estate workers said they will approach the Centre against acquisition of the tea garden.

A delegation of tea estate workers will meet ministers and officials of the urban development and forest and environment ministries in Delhi, to apprise them about the harmful effects of the project, said Samar Bhandari of the Save Tea Garden Struggle Committee, which is spearheading the protests.

“We will battle it out on every platform to save tea garden in Dehradun,” he said.

A delegation of the committee members will meet Union forest and urban development ministers and other concerned officials in Delhi to apprise them of about the impacts on tea gardens. We are confident to impress upon the center in all aspects.”

Tea garden workers refute MDDA’s claim on positive talks.

The Save Tea Estate Struggle Committee rubbished a claim of the MDDA vice chairman Meenakshi Sundaram on the rehabilitation of tea workers, saying it was a ploy to mislead people.

Samar Bhandari said that representatives of the committee along with BJP leader Ravindra Jugran had met the MDDA vice present on Tuesday but there was nothing positive happened in the meeting as claimed by Sundaram.

“We simply heard their views on the smart city proposal and asked the MDDA to provide us with a concept note of the plan. The MDDA claim about a positive outcome, is misleading and a ploy to create confusion,” he said. Earlier in the day, Sundaram informed media that talks with the committee leaders were positive after they were offered “a rehabilitation package that envisages both employment and constructed houses to the affected families”.

Smart city plan scaled down

MDDA vice chairman Meenakshi Sundaram said the authority will acquire only 350 acres of the total 1,200 acres of tea estate land for the smart city project during the first phase

Rest of the tea estate land will be taken by the new government after the 2017 assembly elections

The first phase of the smart city project which will comprise of the acquired tea estate land, will be developed as knowledge hub

Agitating tea estate workers said they will approach the Centre against acquisition of the tea garden

A delegation of tea estate workers will meet ministers and officials of the urban development and forest and environment ministries in Delhi, to apprise them about the harmful effects of the project

Tea garden workers refute MDDA’s claim on positive talks.

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