Govt to now ‘facilitate’ land deal
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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.
"We have requested industrialists to set up business at Raghunathpur," said Commerce and Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee.
The industry has welcomed the project. "We have always demanded that the government play a pro-active role in arranging for land," said Sanjay Bhudhia, chairman, National Committee on Exports, CII.
Said Ashok Aikat, president of Bharat Chamber of Commerce, "It is good that the project is coming up at Purulia which does not have much fertile land."
Mining, construction equipment on display
The 11th edition of International Mining and Machinery Exhibition (IMME) was inaugurated in Kolkata by Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee. Leading brands of mining and construction equipment producer across the globe have set up their stalls in this four-day exhibition. United States is this year's partner country of the exhibition. Dean R Thompson, US Consul General Kolkata said that there was a lot of opportunity in the mining and trade front. "Obviously mining is going to be an important factor in India's economic growth and we see a lot of potential in the market in that regard," he said.
Officials of Bagchem, another Germany-based company, were also very optimistic about market prospects. "The world is riding over the economic slowdown and India is poised to emerge as an important global economy and has a huge potential in terms of bilateral trade. We are very optimistic about the prospects," said Chem Bagci, project manager.
If I eat salt produced by Tata, some people will also relate it to SingurCommerce & Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday when asked about Singur impasse.
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