Bengal to hand over land to 400 families taken during LF rule

SJDA will return 11 acres of the Kawakhali township project to families whose lands were acquired against their will during the Left Front regime.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 00:25 AM IST

Kolkata: The Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) will return 11 acres of the Kawakhali township project to families whose lands were acquired against their will during the Left Front regime.

"We will return land to 400 unwilling affected families who had opposed land acquisition. This is as per our land policy where we do not acquire land from unwilling farmers," North Bengal Development Department minister Goutam Deb said here on Monday.

"We want to complete the process by October. We have already handed over to 80 families," he said.
The return of land was taking place after acquisition process was completed by the government and land losers had lost a legal battle.

Deb, however, did not reveal in what form the 11 acres would be returned to the 400 families.

The erstwhile Left Front government had acquired 302 acres of land for the Kawakhali township project in 2004.

"We are returning the land in accordance to law," Deb said adding, the state government was also offering another 25 acres, over and above the 70 acres of land meant for the rehabilitation, and 1,700 families had been rehabilitated.
He said Bengal Unitech, which was slated to execute the project and had paid Rs 84 crore as advance for the land, would get around 90 acres.

"A film city will be developed over 90 acres at the same location," Deb added.