Biggest land acquisition by TMC government in Asansol-Durgapur

ADDA office at Durgapur

News agencies reports that Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) and the state government is embarking on a land acquisition programme for a housing project in the Asansol-Durgapur region. The Trinamool Congress government has decided to revive and re-approve a housing project of the former Left Front government which was undertaken for the evicted people of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL).
The former Left Front government decided in December 2010, to acquire 3600 acres of land at Gourandi and Banjemari mouzas of Burdwan district to build the much needed housing project for the people evicted by ECL for mining projects. But the then Left Front government could not go ahead with the project because of opposition by some of the land owners. As the 2011 Assembly elections were drawing near, then Left Front government, stung by land problems, decided to shelve the proposal.
The same housing project has been re-approved by the Trinamool Congress government, which has always voiced its opposition against government’s direct land acquisition. This would be the biggest land acquisition drive by TMC government after coming to power. However, the land is being taken to fulfill a “public purpose and is not being taken for setting up any private industry. The project is for the benefit of poor people,’’ said government spokespersons.
“We have arrived at a tentative figure of providing rehabilitation to 40,000 families,” said Antara Acharya, CEO of Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), who conducted a survey of the project. “Minister for Commerce and Industries Partha Chatterjee has given his seal of approval, and it is going to be put before the cabinet shortly,” an official of Land and Land Reforms Department told news agencies. The proposal will now be placed before the state cabinet for its re-validation.
The project will be executed by ADDA at a cost of Rs 2,650 crore. While the state government through ADDA will acquire the land, the money for the project will be given by the ECL. There were about 32,000 families whose land is being taken for the housing project and 50 per cent of them are squatters, said ADDA. While for “genuine” land owners, the government will compensate according to the provisions of Land Acquisition Act of 1884, for the squatters, the government is working out a compensation package. Sources said the compensation to the squatters will be similar to the one awarded to farmers in South 24-Parganas district whose land was taken for building embankments for resisting cyclones like Aila.
The “genuine’ landowners will be paid the price in accordance with the market value — a solarium of 30 per cent of the market value and some more small benefits. “A large chunk of the land (for the housing project) is barren. Even though there is some agricultural land, all are single crop ones. There had been some opposition from some of those who were encroachers and we have overcome them. Negotiations are on to pay them some amount of compensation too,’’ Acharya, the ADDA CEO said.

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1 Comment on Biggest land acquisition by TMC government in Asansol-Durgapur

  1. This is not housing project, per se. Coal Subsidence rehabilitation project requires land for shifting of 60000 plus population from 141 notified subsidence affected locations in ECL areas in terms of directive of Supreme Court. These families scattered over all blocks in colliery will be provided flat or developed land or funds in lieu of land.


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