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Quarters talks in a quandary

A meeting on Thursday between BCCL officials and villagers of Dhanbad’s Karmatand area, aimed at ending the stalemate over nearly 850 company quarters, failed to achieve its goal.

Deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar, who chaired the meeting, said they were trying to come up with a solution by hearing all sides. “We will hold another meeting after 15 days,” he added.

BCCL’s technical director (project and planning) Ashok Sarkar brushed aside villagers’ claims that they had not been adequately compensated for their land.

“We have provided 104 jobs for 97 acres of land and it is more than enough compensation. The claims are unjustified,” claimed Sarkar.

Notably, BCCL had constructed around 852 quarters on 97 acres at Karmatand area of Baliapur block for its employees nearly a decade ago.

Occupation of over 700 of these quarters could not take place owing to local opposition.

Villagers under the banner of Jamin Bachao Morcha also alleged that the compensation process was erratic as people who lost over an acre of land were not employed while those who gave three decimals got jobs.