Govt to now ‘facilitate’ land deal

Purulia township project Quick nod to buy land less than 24.6 acres

The state government has decided to play the role of a 'facilitator' in land acquisition for an industrial township at Raghunathpur in Purulia.

According to an official of the Urban Development Department, under which the project is coming up, "What the government will do is give quick permissions to industrialists willing to buy land above the fixed ceiling of 24.6 acres, help in land conversion and getting approvals of hostile farmers. On the one hand, the government has to fulfil election pledge and on the other, there's a growing pressure that can't be ignored."

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that her government would play no role in getting land for private projects and interested industrialists will have to purchase it on their own.

"The government will neither acquire nor purchase land because that is against its principle. Industrialists will have to purchase land themselves. However, in order to attract investors the government will play a pro-active role of facilitator," said Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Debashis Sen.

The government plans to set up the project on 1.25 lakh acres of land under the West Bengal Town and Country Planning Act of the previous Left Front government that was passed in 1979. Fourteen townships have come up under this act. While in the earlier ones the government chalked out the plan after acquiring land, in this case, the government will not go for acquisition and only help prospective investors.

A government official said that while residential colonies will occupy 25 per cent of the area, another 25 per cent will be earmarked for industries.

The remaining area will be divided thus: recreation 10 per cent, hospitals and educational institutions 8 per cent, commercial 5 per cent, transport 15 per cent, water bodies and forests 6 per cent, miscellaneous 6 per cent.

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