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Govt bid to explain ‘better’ package to Deocha-Pachami stakeholders

Officials have prepared a presentation of four different packages offered by Asansol Durgapur Development Authority, NTPC, central, and Jharkhand governments

Snehamoy Chakraborty Bolpur(Birbhum) Published 18.11.21, 01:44 AM
The site of the Deocha-Pachami coal mine project.

The site of the Deocha-Pachami coal mine project. Photo Himadri Mondal.

The Bengal government has decided to reach out to the stakeholders of the Deocha-Pachami coal-mine project and explain to them the rehabilitation offer by comparing it with similar packages offered by the central government and other agencies acquiring acquire land for government projects.

District officials said the effort was to show how the Mamata Banerjee government was giving a better deal than the central government.


The district administration has convened a meeting on Friday where senior officials will present a comparative study of the rehabilitation package in the presence of heads of tribal hamlets, tribal leaders, local panchayat functionaries and others.

“The meeting will be held with all stakeholders to explain how the rehabilitation package that our chief minister has announced is far better than other such packages. We have collected a few such standard packages and conducted a comparative study. After the meeting, we will request stakeholders to submit their suggestions, if any,” said Bidhan Ray, the Birbhum district magistrate.

The move came up after the state government officially issued the notification for the rehabilitation package on Tuesday evening. Officials said though the first phase work of the coal-mine project would start on government land, the move was taken to ensure that the 21,000-odd people, who will be affected by the project, were satisfied.

Officials have prepared a presentation of four different rehabilitation packages offered by Asansol Durgapur Development Authority, NTPC, central government and the Jharkhand government. These will help people in Deocha-Pachami understand that they are getting a better deal, a senior state government official said.

“We are trying to show the difference between land prices and the offer of government jobs (as junior constables). In three of the four other packages that will be shown to people in Deocha-Pachami, there is no provision of government jobs,” said a senior state government official.

In the NTPC packag, the price of land offered to the land-losers was Rs 15 lakh per acre, whereas the Bengal government was offering Rs 10-13 lakh per bigha or around Rs 30-40 lakh per acre. The land rate being offered to people for the Deocha-Pachami project is better than the other three, a government official said.

In case of employment, the Jharkhand government package offers job but only to those who would lose an acre. In the case of Deocha-Pachami, the Bengal government is offering jobs to all affected families irrespective of the quantum of land lost.

The Bengal government is betting heavily on the Deocha-Pachami coal block, located in Birbhum’s Mohammedbazar.

The coal block is spread over 11,222 acres and has estimated coal reserves of 2.2 billion tonnes. According to government estimates, the project can generate jobs for at least 1.5 lakh people and can act as an engine of economic growth for the entire south Bengal.

On November 9, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the rehabilitation package worth Rs 10,000 crore that offers at least thrice the land price compared to market rate and a government job as junior constable for each family.

The state government has also relaxed the minimum qualification for junior constable in its official notification as many members of the affected families would not be able to meet the educational criteria required.

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