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New formula to douse SEZ fire

The West Bengal CM is set to introduce a new rehabilitation scheme for recorded-unrecorded sharecroppers, reports Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 02:44 IST

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Industries and Commerce Minister Nirupam Sen are all set to introduce a new rehabilitation proposal for recorded and unrecorded sharecroppers (bargadars) in order to stub farmer uprisings in the state over the acquisition of land for industries.

“At present, while land owners get 75 per cent of the value of the land according to the market price as compensation, bargadars get only 25 per cent.

This is creating a lot of resentment as it is the bargadars who till the land and take 75 per cent of the crop while giving 25 per cent to the owners,” said CPI-M Krishak Sabha leader Amal Haldar.

So, both Buddha and Nirupam are working towards increasing compensation for bargadars by an additional 50 per cent to bring them on an equal footing with land owners.

While 25 per cent of the compensation amount for bargadars would be borne by the state government, the remaining 50 per cent would be borne by the industrial houses that get the land.

According to a study by the CPI(M), recorded and unrecorded bargadars are the main force behind the uprisings in Singur, Nandigram, Mahishadal and other parts earmarked for industries.

And the party believes that if this section is well compensated, the wind will automatically flow out of the Opposition’s sail.

The two leaders are also finding a way to rehabilitate farmers before evicting them from their land.

“The models of rehabilitation practiced in other parts of India like Pune, Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra are being studied. In these areas, apart from giving compensation to farmers, they are also given 10 per cent of the land they have surrendered in the industrial belt,” said a senior government official.

Sources said that both Buddha and Nirupam were ready to disclose this new compensation package to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee if she agreed to talks with them on Singur.

However, the government is now getting ready for an all-party meeting to disclose their proposal and seek suggestions from Opposition leaders.

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First Published: Feb 15, 2007 02:44 IST