Kolkata: West Bengal cabinet has cleared acquisition of 3700 acres in Sunderbans for building new embankments and restoring those damaged by the Aila cyclone.
"The cabinet has recently cleared the acquisition of land of about 3700 acres while cheques for 500 acres has been issued," Sunderbans Development Minister Shyamal Mandal said today after releasing a report on the Sunderbans by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
During her visit to the Sunderbans last month, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had asked villagers to part with land for building embankments.
A total of 6,000 acres will be required for the project, out of which the previous Left Front government had acquired around 2,100 acres.
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 5,032 crore for the project.
Work on building new embankments has started and would survive for at least a hundred years, Mandal said.
"They are being built with bricks and cement to obstruct the flow of saline water into the agricultural fields and also to protect villagers during cyclones," he said.
Admitting that there have been some opposition to the ongoing land acquisition for embankments, the minister assured that the problems would be sorted out soon. "Since this is for development work, opposition to land acquisition is not an issue."
He sought cooperation from environmentalists and NGOs for developing Sunderbans. "You help us in planning and we will fight with the Centre for funds for such projects," Mandal said.