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Rehabilitation package decided, 'Bhorer Alo' to get access road soon

Darjeeling: A meeting between Milanpalli Bhumi Rokkha Committee (MPBRC) and state Tourism minister Goutam Deb has resulted in the land losers agreeing to the rehabilitation package offered by the state government. They have decided to halt their ongoing agitation thus paving way for the construction of the access road to the mega tourism project "Bhorer Alo" in Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri district.

"Bhorer Alo" is dubbed as India's largest integrated tourism location and is expected to emerge as a major tourist attraction. The project was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on October 3, 2018. Spread across a sprawling 210 acres of land, the project located 20 km away from Siliguri will include a bird sanctuary "Pakhibitan", Jungle Safari, sunset point, orchid park, amphitheatre, camping facility, jungle trek route, adventure cycling and boating facilities along with a golf course, star category and budget accommodation facilities and food court. "The PWD is constructing an access road from Milanpalli to the project area. For this, five acres of land has to be acquired which belongs to 14 families. These 14 families had given us a rehabilitation proposal. We have discussed what the state has to offer and they have agreed," stated Deb.

Representatives from the 13 families were present in the meeting with an elderly person not being able to make it owing to ill health. "We have offered to rehabilitate them in a nearby land. Each family will get the amount of the land they will be giving up for the road. We will not be requiring all the five acres. Whatever is unused will be returned to the families. They will be given land documents for the plot they will be rehabilitated in as well as the land returned," assured Deb. He further stated that under the homestay scheme, each family will receive Rs 1 and a half lakh.

"Along with this, we will bear the cost of dismantling their old homes along with building infrastructure for their new ones including water, electricity, bathrooms and roads. One person from each family will be given a job through the agencies operating in Gajoldoba," he added. As per the demand of the landowners, the state, in consultation with the forest department, will also compensate for the existing trees and plants that are present on the five acre of land to be used for the road.

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