The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Acres lying waste in ‘landless’ state
- Nadia authorities trace unused plots

Krishnagar, Aug. 21: Carrying out a survey on land that can be used for industry, the Nadia administration has stumbled on a vast reserve of unutilised plots in Kalyani and adjoining Haringhata, two places where the Ambani brothers have sought space for their projects.

Around 2,000 acres are now lying waste because various government departments and the Bidhan Chandra agricultural university have not been able to use them.

The survey to identify land that can be offered to new investors began last month. An official associated with it said at least 7,000 acres are expected to be identified by the time the survey ends.

“Kalyani and Haringhata are old industrial hubs and land was allotted to various government departments and the university for new initiatives and expansion,” he added.

The departments with spare land in possession include refugee rehabilitation and animal resources development.

The government has already given 200 acres to the Centre for the Indian Institute of Science and Educational Research Centre in Haringhata, 45 km from Calcutta.

The administration also has to allocate 60 acres for Anil Ambani’s health city and 30 acres for his IT park.

District magistrate Rajesh Pandey said the IT park would be set up close to the Harin-ghata dairy, which Mukesh Ambani is interested in taking over.

The government also has to identify land in the two towns or their vicinity for a food park, jute park, homoeopathy college, medical college, and agri-export processing zone.

Land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah said like in Kalyani and Haringhata, vast stretches of land are lying unutilised in the two 24-Parganas. “We have decided to add these plots to the land bank for which a statewide survey is on.”

Investors would be offered land for their ventures from the bank. The need to create it arose after a section of farmers opposed land acquisition at Singur for Tata Motors’ small-car factory.

Pandey said he had received instructions from the government to trace unutilised land. “We have decided to acquire the unutilised plots and set them aside for industries.”

Some of the unutilised land has been encroached upon. The district magistrate said the encroachments would be removed.

“The data is being compiled every week. The government has asked me to give breakups for each category of land available,” Pandey said.

Officials said while scouting for land for the proposed projects, the district land department realised that it did not have a clue about the reserve in Nadia.

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