| The Biada land at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Communication gap has marred the hope of unwilling farmers to get back their land acquired for the proposed greater industrial area in Kahalgaon against refund of compensation with interest.
According to sources, the administration has directed Biada to get ready to acquire almost 800 acres in six mouzas in Kahalgaon except Ramjanipur mouza.
It has also decided to return plots to those tillers who had opposed acquisition of their plots. However, the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) managing director (MD) has denied knowledge about any such development.
Bhagalpur divisional commissioner (DC) Minhaz Alam said: “Biada would return the land to farmers soon after they pay back the amount with 9 per cent interest. In 1993, the government had decided to develop a greater industrial area across over 800 acres in Alipur, Kutubpur, Bhavangama, Bishunpur, Ramjanipur, Logain and Habibpur mouzas.” But Biada MD Deepak Kumar Singh said he had no clue about the development.
Ramchandra Singh, the head of the district industries centre of Bhagalpur said the process of land return had been initiated. “There was an order from the DC on this. Biada had acquired 1,092 acres. But till now, no landowner or farmer has turned up. If they come and pay up, their land would be returned to them as a majority had been paid the compensation for the same,” said the Biada MD.
The industrial department issued notification for land acquisition in 1995. From 2002-2008, the district administration managed to acquire 755.1 acres from the seven mouzas and handed it over to Biada.
But the land oustees of Ramjanipur started demanding revised compensation rates against their land acquired between 2007 and 2012. In 2010, some land oustees from the village filed cases in Patna High Court for revised compensation.
DC Alam said if any farmer occupied his/her land in spite of not refunding the compensation and interest, he would face legal action.