Mamata’s dept yet to prepare land bank

Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to undertake a cabinet reshuffle, but observers opine that the Chief Minister should be put in the dock herself due to non-performance of several key departments that she heads.

The Chief Minister is in-charge of departments such as Home, Land and Land Reforms, Health, Minority and Madrasa, and Information and Culture.

In the Land and Land Reforms department (L&LR), for example, she has miserably failed to prepare a land bank that would be made available to entrepreneurs for setting up industries.

Setting up a land bank was mentioned in the party's election manifesto and was one of the top priorities of the state government when it assumed power in 2011.

According to officials of the L&LR department, the last proposal for land requirement came 18 months ago —to set up an industrial park at Raghunathpur in Purulia district.

The proposal for setting up the park on 1,897.44 acres came from West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), the nodal agency for requisitioning land and handing it over to the manufacturers concerned.

The officials added no other proposal has come to date despite the department having a sizeable land bank.

In the last two years, 12 letters have been sent to several departments. However, 10 departments of the state government are yet to submit the amount of land they have with them.

These include PWD, refugee rehabilitation and industrial reconstruction departments. "We are sending another letter soon, but we have doubts whether they can send us the requisite information. We know this is a prestigious project of the government and so we will do our best,'' a senior official of the land and land reforms department told The Indian Express.

According to the official, the department to date has zeroed in on 32,000 acres under several departments and the land department itself has 59,000 acres.

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