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CM promise to land losers

Sagardighi (Murshidabad), March 22: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said he would take “personal responsibility” to provide jobs to at least one member of each family that loses land to industrial projects in Bengal.

“I am taking personal responsibility to provide jobs to at least one member of each of the families whose land would be acquired for the purpose of setting up industries in Bengal,” he said.

Bhattacharjee was on a day’s visit here to open a 300MW thermal power project in Sagardighi, Murshidabad, about 245km from Calcutta.

Power minister Mrinal Banerjee, who was present at the opening, said the power plant would generate employment for around 2,000 people.

The chief minister said the increase in demand for power would necessitate more such plants in Bengal. “It will increase even more with industries coming up in Bengal. At this hour we need to have more such power plants in the state to meet the demand.”

Bhattacharjee said it was the right time to shift attention to setting up industries in the state. “We are doing well in agriculture. But we also need to graduate to industry as this will generate employment for the future generation. For this we are also preparing a list of agricultural areas and areas suitable for setting up industries.”

The chief minister appreciated the gesture of the people of Sagardighi who voluntarily handed over their plots for the power project. The foundation stone was laid in 2004 by Bhattacharjee himself.

Of the 1,890 acres required for the plant, the state government acquired 1,600 acres without resistance. The remaining 300 acres are yet to be acquired.

The West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited plant was built at the cost of Rs 2,750 crore by a Chinese government organisation.

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