Encroachment stalls second open-air jail

The state government’s plan to set up the second open-air jail for the convicts serving life term sentences in South Dinajpur district’s Buniyadpur town has failed to take off due to encroachment problem.

Written by Sulagna Sengupta | Kolkata | Published:August 9, 2012 12:16 am

The state government’s plan to set up the second open-air jail for the convicts serving life term sentences in South Dinajpur district’s Buniyadpur town has failed to take off due to encroachment problem.

Around 50 families have encroached around 49.2 cottah or 0.89 acres of the five- acre plot that was earmarked for the project.

The jail department has now written a letter to the District Magistrate of South Dinajpur,DD Goswami,to offer a compensation package after discussing with the families,who have been encroaching the land. “We are in the process of discussing with the families and trying to convince them to agree to the compensation package offered by the government,” said Goswami. While the government is offering Rs 50,000 as compensation to each of the families,the encroachers have been demanding nearly double the amount.

“We are waiting for the DM’s report. Then we will place the issue in the next Cabinet meeting,” said Minister in charge of Correctional Homes Shankar Chakraborty.

According to Goswami,he will send his report to the department within few days.

The proposal to set up the second open air correctional home was taken in June 2011 since South Dinajpur District Correctional Home is already full with a capacity of 200 inmates. The state’s only open-air jail is at Lalgola in Murshidabad district.

According to officials,open-air correctional homes help improve the behaviour of inmates as they are granted permission to work and learn skills outside and then report back at night. It also helps makes them easier to join the mainstream life.

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