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Bengal govt to buy and not acquire land for township
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September 25, 2008 11:29 IST

Taking a cue from the Singur impasse, the West Bengal government will not go for acquisition of land while setting up a township at Dankuni in North 24 Parganas district, but would buy land from farmers instead.

Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee said on Thursday the government would give farmers attractive prices for their land and would not acquire any for the Dankuni township project, to be set up by the DLF Group.

The minister made it clear that the project was not being shelved saying that the government has been discussing the issue.

Bhattacharjee made the statement while laying foundation of an indoor stadium at Maheshtala in South 24 Parganas district.

The 1,500-capacity stadium, to be built by the Eden City group at a cost of Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million), would be completed within one-and-a-half years.

The stadium is a part of a big housing project at Mahestala and later an open stadium with 20,000 seats would also come up, the minister said.

New Singur package after pujas: Meanwhile another report stated that the West Bengal government announced a new post-Durga Puja package to those affected by land acquisition.

Commerce and Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen told reporters at the Writers' Buildings that the government was working on the new rehabilitation package.

"The government is working on it. It will be announced after the pujas," Sen said.

The announcement of the fresh package came as only 70 of over 2000 'unwilling' land-losers at Singur turned up to receive the compensation package that was announced on September 14, inspite of the government extending the deadline by two days.

At Singur, Hooghly district magistrate Neelam Meena said altogether 70 farmers took the enhanced rehabilitation package.

"Altogether 25 farmers took their compensation cheques in the last two days -- 13 on Wednesday and 12 on Tuesday," Meena said.

Earlier, 45 farmers had accepted the cheques.

The government had offered 10 per cent over and above the 50 per cent in the rehabilitation package, which was advertised in newspapers on September 14.

Besides, those affected would be eligible to 300 days wages at National Rural Employment Guarantee Act rate, subject to verification of residence status.

On September 15, addressing a mammoth 'pro-Nano' rally organised by the Left Front at Singur, its chairman Biman Bose had said all those who had not taken compensation would be entitled to an additional 10 per cent more, if they took their cheques within September 22.

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