After the Nandigram episode, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided to play safe as far as acquisition of land for setting up industrial units is concerned. Having dumped the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) proposals in the state, Kumar categorically said that there would not be forceful acquisition of land.
"There won't be any forceful acquisition of land. Lands for establishing industrial units would be acquired only at people's will. The government is dead against creating SEZs," he said in Patna on Monday. Kumar made it clear that the government does not intend to do anything against people's wish, even at the cost of industries.
He made this announcement when a group of sugarcane farmers from West Champaran came to meet him and opposed the move to acquire their land for the proposed sugar industry.
Kumar threw the ball in opposition's court by asking them to decide whether they want the state to become a centre for development or a permanent place for migration of labourers. "Those opposing the move should understand that industrialisation was a must for the development of any state, increasing the GDP and per capita income. If industries do not come in the state, it will continue to remain the migration centre of labourers," he maintained.
But the chief minister served a warning to those who want to claim relief on gairmajurwa land. "The government will judge whether the opposition against any land is genuine or a motivated one," he made it clear.
Stressing that industries are a sine quo non not only for the economic prosperity but also for creating gainful employment in the state, Kumar opined that the state needed to reduce its over dependence on agriculture. "For this we need agro-based industries," he said. "If land was not made available, industries won't come and if industries won't come, there will be no development. Sugar industries alone will develop 20 hectares of new agricultural land area," he added.
Claiming that Bihar's new compensation policy for land acquisition was perhaps the best in the country, Kumar said that under normal circumstances a person whose land would be acquired would get Rs 1.95 lakh per acre instead of Rs 1.30 lakh; if donated voluntarily would get Rs 2.40 lakh per acre. "If any residential land is acquired, the land owner will get the cost of the land, a maximum 5 decimal of land for building a house, Rs 10,000 for temporary accommodation and Rs 5,000 for carrying the house hold goods.