Andal land protest

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  • Published 1.02.12

Durgapur, Jan. 31: Land protesters today uprooted a portion of the fencing for the airport city project at Andal near Durgapur claiming the plot belonged to them and alleged that they were yet to get compensation.

The crowd of over 50, which included farmers, share-croppers and farm labourers, marched to the site in Dakshinkhanda area, 200km from Calcutta, around 11.30am.

They first shouted slogans and then yanked off barbed wires put up for the project and fenced off the eight-acre plot with bamboo poles.

The patch is part of 1,820 acres acquired for Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL), which is developing the project, but work hasn’t started there yet.

The administration claimed payments had not been made as much of the stretch was locked in litigation and officials were trying to determine the actual owners.

“I have instructed the land acquisition department to find out the details of the cases,” said district magistrate . S. Meena.

But the protesters claimed the plot belonged to them. They also said they would not accept the compensation cheques and demanded Rs 2 lakh per cottah.

The land for the project was acquired over the past few years at rates ranging from Rs 12,500 to Rs 18,400 per cottah, depending on the location.

The protesters were organised under the Save Farmers and Farm Labourers Committee, which is backed by Trinamul, the Congress and the SUCI.

Subhankar Ganguly, vice-president of BAPL, said the authorities would sort out the tangle.

“There will be a meeting among the sub-divisional officer of Durgapur, the land-losers and us.”