In a major success for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,the Land and Land Reforms department has been able to stumble upon as much as 6 lakh acres of land lying unused with various departments for use as land bank for industries in the state.
However sources in the department expressed doubts over the figures saying many of the departments,under constant pressure from the chief minister office,have sent fudged data.
We are cross-checking the figures. Even if it is less than what is being claimed,it will be a major success as never before did we have an account of how much land we have got for setting up of industry, a senior official of the department told The Indian Express.
In the last eight months,Land and Land Reforms Commissioner R D Meena shot off seven letters to various district magistrates asking them to expedite the work on the land bank and send the figures to his department.
Minister for Commerce and Industries Partha Chatterjee earlier said 80 per cent of the work on the land bank has been done. The policy is clear. When an industrialist approaches us with an investment offer,we will show him the land from the land bank and will request him to accept it. But if he does not like it,we will ask him to buy the land, Chatterjee further said.
Meanwhile,the CPM has expressed its reservations not only about the data but also in the success of the whole exercise. A survey done four years ago revealed that about 30,000 acres of land was lying unused with various departments. Even that data was incomplete. Much of this land has been encroached upon, said Abdur Rezzaq Mollah,former minister for Land and Land Reforms.