Dumka, Sept. 9: The proposed 600MW thermal power project of CESC in Ramgarh block of Dumka has again run into land hurdle, with villagers claiming that their signatures on the agreement papers were fake.
Over a hundred local residents handed over a memorandum to deputy commissioner Harsh Mangla today, alleging that most of the rayats’ signatures in the land transfer papers were forged.
“The agreements signed between rayats and the CESC management bear fake signatures of land owners,” claimed Mahadeo Mandal of Dando village while speaking to The Telegraph.
The aforesaid deal was executed in June last year under the voluntary land acquisition rules through the aam sabha (gram sabha) wherein the rayats had conceded to part with their plots for the proposed Rs 4,000-crore power plant.
The allegation has come at a time when the company has already deposited Rs 17 crore with the district administration for distribution among landowners in Dando and adjoining villages in Ramgarh.
When asked, DC Mangla said a meeting would be organised to ascertain if the allegation was true. “Under no circumstances, land for the power plant will be acquired against the wish of the aam sabha,” the DC said.
According to sources, the CESC needs around 700 acres in Ramgarh for the power plant. “The process to acquire 186 acres of raiyati (private) land has almost been completed. We are going to hand over the compensation to landlosers soon,” district land acquisition officer Sudhir Bada told The Telegraph.
The company has identified the rest of the private and government plots to be acquired.
In 2005, CESC had signed an MoU with the state to set up a 1,000MW plant in Kathikund block. But in the aftermath of police firing on protesters in 2008 that killed two villagers, the company was forced to shift the project to Ramgarh. But here too, the project has been moving at a snail’s pace owing to protests against land acquisition.
Sources said the administration was not in a hurry to go ahead with the plant in view of the prevailing resentment.