'Enhanced compensation package for land givers in Deocha Pachami project'

Enhanced compensation package for land givers in Deocha Pachami project

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the government has modified the compensation package for land givers of the Deocha Pachami coal mining project and reiterated that there will be no forced acquisition of land for it.

Maintaining that the Deocha Pachami coal block in Birbhum will bring an immense economic boost to the state by offering low-cost power for another 100 years, the Chief Minister sought support from the local people for setting up the project while announcing a modified relief and rehabilitation package of Rs 10,000 crore for those who will give land for the project.

Banerjee assured that there won't be any forceful land acquisition and urged a section of the people who have been agitating not to do politics and deprive people of the one lakh jobs that the proposed project will ensure.

"There is an effort to spread misunderstanding about the project by a section of people. Some coal mine owners and Jharkhand-based organisations have been trying to mislead the local masses about the project for their vested interest. If you have faith in me, rest assured that not a single person will be deprived. We don't do anything forcefully by depriving the poor. This project will be the face of Bengal. Five states were behind this project but we fought and we managed to snatch it from them," the Chief Minister said in a press conference after the Cabinet meeting at Nabanna.

Banerjee maintained that the project will entail an investment of Rs 35,000 crore and has the potential to attract investments from a multitude of allied fields thereby ushering in a complete economic transformation of the entire area. She said that the coal mine owners have also been included in the compensation package and maintained that it is entirely a government project.

"The project will have the capability of storing power for 100 years so there will be no power crisis in the state and power tariff will also get reduced with the state's own infrastructure," Banerjee said.

Elaborating the details of the revised compensation package, state Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi said a person having land in the area will get double the market value along with a 100 per cent solatium as land cost, which is around Rs 13 lakh per bigha. As per the revised compensation package, the built-up area of the individual houses that is to be provided to all families along with separate houses for all adult members of the family has been increased from 600 square feet to 700 square feet. The compensation for "built-up house" for those who will opt for money has been increased from Rs 5 lakh per family to Rs 7 lakh while the subsistence allowance to be provided to all families in the area has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.

"The initial package had provided one employment for one member of every family as a junior police constable. In the revised package, those with higher qualifications will be provided with a higher grade posting in police or an equivalent posting in other departments namely Group C category under which a total of 5,100 people will be given jobs under this," Dwivedi stated.

The compensation states that long-term occupants in the area will be provided with land pattas and compensation packages.

All houses under the package will be provided in a model refugee and rehabilitation colony with all basic and civic amenities, including internal roads, drinking water connection, health centre, electricity, ration shop, bank, playground, community centre, place of worship for all communities and burial ground for all concerned at a government land adjoining the coal block.

There are 12 villages in the area having around 4,314 households with a population of 21,033 (3,601 SCs and 9,034 STs).

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, Jai Kisan Andolan and a gamut of other social organisations had gathered in Deocha Pachami on Sunday to protest against the proposed project.

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