People win with new land map
People win with new land mapUpdated: May 30, 2006 02:22 IST
Reforms are bowing to people's will. Faced with stiff resistance from within, the Bengal government has decided to draw up a comprehensive land use policy outlining the types of agricultural land to be acquired for industry.
Front chairman Biman Bose told partners on Monday that the government would table the draft policy in the Cabinet on May 31 and specify the kind of land that would be kept out of the loop.
Sources said Bose urged all the Front partners to accept the policy. "Let it through or else it will send wrong signals now that the new government has just taken over. You will have ample time for discussions and amendments later," Bose said. The hurriedly-convened meeting tried to allay fear among the Front partners that the government, in its investment overdrive, was acquiring multi-crop agricultural land at the cost of the state’s food security.
Demonstrations by villagers against Tata Motors officials in Singur in Hooghly last week added to the fears. The villagers simply refused to part with their land.
In a subsequent Front meeting, the CPI and the RSP said they were kept in the dark about the acquisition process. They also criticised the way the government ignored the Front and even the cabinet in unilaterally pledging 3,1700 acres to industrial houses. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who attended the meeting, was silent.
The Front partners were, however, satisfied with the compensation package for farmers facing displacement. "We have arrived at a general consensus about the compensation package," Front chairman Biman Bose said.
"The farmers would get 152 per cent of the land price and alternative sources of livelihood will be arranged for those below the poverty line," Bose said.
First Published: May 30, 2006 02:22 IST