November 4, 2010
Mamata shares her vision
On the question of land acquisition, Trinamool Congress chief Ms. Mamata Banerjee came up with a develop-and-return formula if a government agency wanted to acquire land for defence, communication or road requirements. Over and above compensation, she said, the government should return one-tenth of the acquired land fully developed to the owner for commercial use. One person in the family of the land loser has to be given a government job. In case there is none to take up a job, the family should be given monthly pension for 30 years. All those involved with the land, including sharecroppers, will also have to be compensated. On land acquisition for private industry, she stuck to her known position of a complete hands-off policy by the government. Asked about the stuck land bill that proposes a government role in the acquisition of 30 per cent of the land, she said: “I am not aware of any 70:30 formula. My opinion is: no forceful land acquisition, acquisition only by discussion.” On the dedicated freight corridor, for which funds have been tied up only for the western belt, Mamata said she would let private companies build the rail line in the east and let them enjoy “economic interest” in return. She said the railways would kick off work on a 50-km stretch from Dankuni on November 13 or 14. She also sought to calm nerves over her party’s proposed agitation against land acquisition, saying the “IT industry has nothing to fear”.