Uniform-rate cry for Panagarh land

Durgapur, Dec. 3: Villagers whose land has been identified for a much-needed bypass in Panagarh to ease traffic on NH2 have demanded a uniform price instead of the government's offer to pay them according to the plot's proximity to the highway.

The district administration had decided on a price range between Rs 13 lakh and Rs 1.04 crore an acre to pay the farmers, but the villagers in seven mouzas have asked for a flat rate of Rs 1.2 crore per acre.

The villagers yesterday formed a Panagarh Bypass Land Losers' Committee at a meeting and also demanded a permanent job for at least one member of each family in either the National Highways Authority of India, which will lay the highway bypass road, or in any other government office.

"The administration is trying to create a division among the villagers by offering different rates (to different people). We want a uniform price so that there is no room for complaint. We want Rs 1.2 crore an acre for all. Land is our only source of income. If we lose that, the government must give us jobs in the NHAI or in any other government department," said Niladri Mukherjee, the secretary of the committee whose one-acre plot has been identified for acquisition.

"We will not give our land until our demands are met."

The Panagarh Bypass Land Losers' Committee claims to be an apolitical organisation.

The Burdwan administration had one-and-half-years ago started the land acquisition process but was only able to complete certain formalities like fixing up the price range. The land department will acquire 25.36 acres of single-crop land in seven mouzas in Panagarh and Budbud for the 12km, four-lane bypass.

The villagers had on November 29 prevented land officials from carrying out a survey, demanding that the administration discuss the price of the land with them first. When a team from the land department went to some of the villages, the residents said they would decide on the price at a meeting on Sunday.

The 3.2km bottleneck stretch of the Calcutta-New Delhi NH2 that passes through Pangarh market often sees long hours of traffic snarls, which become worse in the evening because of the large number of trucks that passes through the single-lane stretch.

The Burdwan administration has decided to "go-slow" on land acquisition after the November 29 protest, fearing a repetition of the land-related clash in Birbhum's Loba last month.

Today, additional district magistrate (land acquisition) Utpal Biswas said: "We know about the meeting on Sunday and the villagers' demands. We have decided on the price according to the current market rate. What we are offering is most lucrative. We will again hold meetings with the villagers. The matter will be sorted out through discussions. We will not go for any forcible acquisition."

Land brokers confirmed that the rate offered by the district administration was "more than enough".

A villager, Krishna Dayal Karmakar, said the government had in 2007 offered a flat rate of Rs 10.80 lakh an acre for a fertiliser plant in Panagarh. "The administration should follow the same rule here," he said.

Sources said some villagers who had formed syndicates to supply construction materials for the fertiliser plant have also requested the district administration to engage them while laying the bypass.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »