Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has told his cabinet colleagues that the government is definitely on a "back-foot" post Nandigram and acknowledged the need of moving "cautiously and slow" on projects, which would involve land acquisition.
Bhattacharjee said this on reply to CPI's water investigation minister Nandogopal Bhattacharya’s question as to when would the Nandigram war end. "Even the World War was known to have had an end," he told the chief minister.
Bhattacharjee at the Core Committee meeting with the Front ministers. Though he admitted the need of going slow on industrialisation, especially which would involve acquisition of large areas of land, at the same time he said that it would be wrong to say that everything has come to a standstill after Nandigram.
"Its not that everything has come to a stop. There is no problem of land in the Jindal Project and Balaji’s steel unit is also happening on the barren areas of Purulia," he said.
However, he stressed that the government from now on would be careful, cautious and would go slow on land acquisition. Nandogopal Bhattacharya is reported to have asked the chief minister as to when would Nandigram return to normalcy.
Bhattacharya had expressed concern and said that the cry for normalcy is coming from within, from the people of Nandigram. "It’s not that the entire population of Nandigram is with the Bhoomi Uchhed Protirodh Committee. There is another picture, another strain of thought running in Nandigram. School students and teachers are writing letters to me, requesting peace and normalcy," Bhattacharjee added, stressing that not all people of Nandigram have joined the BUPC.
He also said efforts would be on to rope in the Trinamool Congress at the all-party meeting because without their presence the peace process would not kick off.
Meanwhile, expressing concern, he asked PWD minister from RSP Kshiti Goswami if road projects were being hit, due to resistance to land acquisition.
Goswami said that resistance is mainly coming because land-losers want better compensation package. Goswami said that people are not opposed to roads or infrastructure building, but they want a better cushion and after Nandigram, they are on a bargaining exercise.
Goswami said that he would talk with Government of India if the compensation package involving extention of Jessore Road could be improved.
Meanwhile, at the cabinet meeting, the proposal for acquisition of 750 acres of land for the Howrah-Domjur township was deferred at chief minister’s insistence, since the minister concerned - urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya was absent.
Bhattacharjee said that the government would have to be careful on the question of land acquisition.