Dumka, Jan. 27: Chief minister Arjun Munda strove for a tightrope walk on land acquisition for industry in his 45-minute Republic Day address here on Wednesday.
In the wake of rural passions running high over land acquisition, Munda assured consensual land-grab deals, while sticking to the government’s stand of going ahead with industrial projects.
“Land for industrial purposes will be taken only after farmers’ consent,” he told a 3,000-plus crowd at the Police Line grounds.
Though Munda spoke on achieving the generation of 12,000 MW power in the next four years with help from the private sector, he assured the gathering that “under no circumstances will land be forcibly acquired”.
“The state government enacted a legislation on voluntary land acquisition, which states that land for industry will be acquired only with farmer consent,” Munda said, adding that the state government was committed to shape the land acquisition process in tune with “sentiments and requirements” of farmers.
Mega power projects in Dumka and other Santhal Pargana districts have not made headway due to farmer protests. Jindal Group and RPG Group have been trying to set up power projects in Dumka and Godda districts to generate 4,000MW — one-third of the state’s total target — but not succeeded due to reluctant raiyyats (land owners).