Land for Nazrul University turns ‘disputed’

'Land transferred by DM without Board's nod'

The land on which the proposed Kazi Nazrul Islam University is supposed to come up in Asansol has become disputed with allegations being levelled that the 31-acre plot was transferred to set up the university without any proper authorisation.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had laid the foundation stone of the university a few days ago on the outskirts of Asansol, very close to Churulia — the birthplace of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Till the early 1990s, a leprosy hospital, set up in 1940, was operational on the land. Asansol Mines Board of Health — a Coal India-funded statutory body to provide healthcare facility to the residents of the mine areas — was running the leprosy hospital. The body, which is facing threat of existence due to severe fund crunch and dearth of manpower, has alleged that the land belonged to the leprosy hospital and it was transferred to help set up of the university.

A "Mines Board of Health Bachao Committee" has been formed to oppose the leasing of the land for the proposed university.

Himangshu Das, convener of the committee, said the District Magistrate is the chairman of the Mines Board of Health that owns the land. "On January 8, the DM transferred the land to set up the university. How this land was transferred without the resolution of the Board and what is the benefit of the Mines Board against the transfer of the high-priced land have still not been explained," he said.

While the government valued the land at

Rs 28 crore, the market price is at least Rs 150 crore, Das added.

Onkar Singh Meena, the DM of Burdwan, said the transfer of land was "done in a transparent way", and refused to elaborate further.

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