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Govt cold to land offer on platter

- Lengthy paper work & plot verification process dampen Aao Bihar campaign

Around six months back, Basant Singh, a former minister, had volunteered to give around 51 acres to the state government under the “Aao Bihar” (Come to Bihar) initiative.

With the year ending, Singh, who had completed necessary formalities regarding the same with the industries department, is still waiting for the department to act.

“I want to give my land because my children are not interested in farming. I had approached the authorities at the industries department for the first time in July and had submitted all the necessary papers. It is December now and no one from the department or from the district administration has contacted me. It seems that there is a total lack of co-ordination and no one is interested. I have not reverted to them as it is their job,” Singh told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

Since land is the biggest hindrance towards industrialisation in the state, those willing to give land for industries, are being ignored.

Now, the industries department is planning to send fresh directions to the district magistrates (DM’s) to act fast towards completing the verification of the papers of the plots.

“The Aao Bihar scheme was started around three years back. It called for landowners, who could provide plots to industrialists. It was said that the state government will not interfere when it comes to deals between the landowner and the buyer and will be only assisting the two sides. The idea was to create a land bank and forward the same to the entrepreneurs. However, the campaign flopped only to be revived this year with at least three land owners coming forward to offer their plots under the scheme,” an officer with the department said.

He added that once the landowner approaches the department, there are several formalities, mainly paper work, which needs to be completed.

“Hence, the approval takes time. However, we understand that things cannot be delayed. The most important formality is the verification of the land. Officials of the district administration need to visit the plot, measure it properly and also check the documents to know whether it’s genuine or not. The DMs have been directed to complete the formalities. A fresh directive will be sent soon asking them to complete the verification process fast.”

Sources said the delay could prove damaging for the department and the state.

“Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) at present has stopped fresh land allocations until an order stating that it doesn’t have plots comes. In such a situation, formalities need to be completed fast. One understands that verification of land and other formalities take time but six months is long enough. If the delay continues, landowners will lose interest and things will be back to square one,” an industrialist said.

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