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Cautious pitch for IIM land

- State invites Cheri villagers for talks on private acres

Ranchi, Jan. 20: Having burnt its fingers in Nagri, Ranchi district administration is trying to create a climate of consensus to acquire 4.22 private acres out of the 90 acres earmarked for the permanent campus of IIM-R at Cheri village, Kanke block.

The state has already transferred some 85.78 government-owned acres to IIM.

Now, the state will have to acquire 4.22 acres of private, rayati land and transfer them to the B-school, for which Ranchi district administration’s land acquisition department asked Cheri panchayat to hold a meeting on Republic Day and arrive at an agreement.

IIM-R, established in July 2010, is operating out of a rented government building at Suchana Bhavan.

All through 2012, people’s agitation in Nagri, also in Kanke block, kept up the pressure on the state government, which finally beat a hasty retreat from the site.

Around mid-2013, the state government zeroed in on Cheri, just 7km from Nagri, and identified 90 acres for the IIM campus, 10 short of what the premier B-school had in mind.

“We are going through the process of acquiring land in a peaceful manner. Under Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA, it is mandatory to take permission from the village body for acquisition of rayati land. Once we get the permission from the village body, we will decide on modalities of acquisition and compensation,” Abhayanandan Ambastha, district land acquisition officer, said.

Tribal-dominated Jharkhand comes under the 5th Scheduled Area of the Constitution, governed by PESA Act, where permission of a village body is required for land acquisition.

Government officials, including Kanke block circle officer, BDO, land acquisition department officials, village heads, villagers and nine rayots (owners of the land) concerned will attend the meeting. “If the rayots have any objection against land acquisition, they will need to voice them,” said Kanke circle officer Suman Pathak.

On the kind of compensation villagers will get, Ranchi deputy commission Vinay Choubey said: “I can say they will be handsomely compensated. It depends on the nature of land as well as the purpose for which it is acquired. Under a new rule of the state government, villagers are likely to get four times the existing rate. But I will have to go through details.”

The existing government rate of land in Cheri-Manatu locality varies between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1.50 lakh per decimal, depending on the nature of land and purpose of acquisition.

Union minister of human resource development M.M. Pallam Raju laid the foundation stone of the IIM-R campus at Cheri on July 29, 2013. According to the Rs 400-crore proposal, IIM-R will have a sprawling campus with a six-storey main building and 30 hi-tech classrooms, eight-10 storey hostels and separate rooms for 2,000 students, 500 flats for faculty members and other employees, an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2,000 and other infrastructure. Construction work has just started.

Land acquisition for projects has met stiff resistance from local residents in and around the capital, including the core capital area initiative in Kute, 15km from Ranchi, and Roman Catholic Church’s proposed hospital project.