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Protests stall road work

Durgapur, Jan. 13: Villagers of a Burdwan pocket through which a 10km metalled road connecting the proposed Panagarh Industrial Park and NH2 is being built have stalled work several times in the past week demanding compensation and rehabilitation.

Today, when officials and engineers of BLA Projects Pvt Ltd, which is building the road, went to the site in Kanksa along with a police team, about 100 villagers armed with bows and arrows gheraoed them.

The 20-odd policemen did not intervene, sources said.

The agitators, who claimed to have tilled the land as sharecroppers before it was acquired by the Left government in 2009, said they did not get compensation despite being promised 25 per cent of the land price and rehabilitation.

“We have been living on the land for decades and also cultivating it as sharecroppers. The former Left Front government promised us 25 per cent of the land price and rehabilitation. But nothing has been done yet,” said Shiblal Hansda, one of the agitators.

A district official said land owners who had proper documents had been paid about Rs 10.8 lakhs per acre.