March 24, 2014
Land Bank becomes a reality in West Bengal
Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee`s dream project “the land bank” has become a reality. The State Government can now offer 1.06 lakh acres of land to industries wanting to set up their projects in the State.
The land bank comprises land that had been lying idle under various departments of the State Government. The Land and Land Reforms department, which worked for two and a half years to create the land bank, has 76,000 acres while other departments account for 30,000 acres of land.
At her press conference after the cabinet meeting on May 21, 2011, the day she took oath as chief minister, Ms. Mamata Benerjee announced that her Government would prepare a land bank that would be offered to industrialists willing to set up their projects in the State. West Bengal Government is opposed to forcible acquisition of land and strongly disapproves of any involvement or mediation by the Government in acquiring land for private companies.
Land is not an issue at all in Bengal. The State Govt has passed a land policy, which is beneficial for both industry and farmers. The policy ensures a good compensation package for those who give up their land. WBIDC alone has 3,263 acres ready for use.
There are thousands of acres in 23 industrial parks, biggest of which are located at Raghunathpur in Purulia, Panagarh in Burdwan and Goaltore in West Midnapore.
About 7,170 acres have been recommended under Section 14Y. The WBIDC has allotted 1,651 acres that have been cleared in our industrial parks. If companies give an undertaking that they will not pressure existing owners to sell and that they will pay the market price, the Govt is ready to waive the land cap.
The West Bengal Government has given waiver under Section 14 Y to a rubber park coming up at Sankrail in Howrah and Apeejay Group-promoted Bengal Shipyard project at Kulpi. We have also allotted land to NTPC for a thermal power plant at Katwa. Renowned furniture company Supreme Industries has filed an affidavit that it would not engage in forcible acquisition of land. My cabinet has cleared this project as well. This will bring in investment worth Rs 145 crores.