Durgapur residents sought intervention of DM on land selling issue

Kantaberia villagers at the kantaberia more

Residents of Kantaberia and Borgoria mouzas of Durgapur sought intervention of the district magistrate and the chairman of Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), after they found that the land which they sold nine years ago for setting up an industrial unit are being resold now to some realtors as residential plots. Both the village Kantaberia and Borgoria at the outskirts of Durgapur has seen property prices sky rocketing in recent years after work for the proposed airport and the peripheral road around Durgapur began.
In 2004, a Patna-based private investor procured 37 acres of private land in Kantaberia and Borgoria mouzas for setting up a Ferro-alloy unit and promising job to each of the recorded owner and vendor of land. However, for the past nine years, the land lay idle, with not a single step taken to set up the promised industrial unit. The entrepreneurs, Mr. Ashoke Agarwal and Mr. Dilip Kumar, who bought the land from the local villagers for a paltry Rs 66,000 per acre promised to set up a rolling mill here.
The agreement documents concluded between the original land owners and the entrepreneurs says the latter agree “to employ one person of the recorded owner and vendor of land at Kantaberia and Borgoria in Laudoha block. They will be provided (jobs) as per his skill & experience.’
The original land owners, however, noticed to their surprise that some land-brokers, allegedly engaged by the entrepreneurs, Mr. Agarwal and Mr. Kumar were negotiating with private parties intending to buy residential plots. Kantaberia villagers Mr. Haren Ruidas and Mr. Anadi Garai said they had sold the land for a paltry Rs 66,000 per acre in the hope of promoting industrialization and securing jobs. “What we see now, they have invited realtors, and the promise of setting up an industry has vanished and so did our getting a job.”
Local Trinamool Congress workers, meanwhile, have started an agitation protesting against the move. Mr. Ajit Sadhu, the block Trinamool Congress leader alleged: “The locals had sacrificed the prime land for industry, which would have generated employment and we will not allow the land to be parceled out as residential plots under any circumstance. He also said that, Mr. Moloy Sadhu, a resident of B-Zone locality in Durgapur, is the key person engaged by the entrepreneurs trying to sell the land to private realtors.
The entrepreneurs, Mr. Ashoke Agarwal and Mr. Dilip Kumar, meanwhile, have vanished from the industrial hub. They didn’t respond to questions from media persons. Contacted over the phone, Mr. Agarwal said: “We don’t want to discuss this matter.”
Local residents have lodged a written complain with the district magistrate, Burdwan and the chairman, Asansol Durgapur Development Authority demanding immediate steps to prevent the entrepreneurs’ move. The Chief Executive Officer, ADDA, Mrs. Antara Acharya said today: “We have received the complaint and on Monday will to discuss the matter officially.” She added: “For any alteration of the nature of the land, the entrepreneurs need to seek no objection certificate from us.”

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