The state government has firmed up plans for more lucrative packages to encourage tribals and villagers to give their land for the country’s proposed largest coal block project at Deucha Pachami in Birbhum district.
According to officials, the government has decided to give an allowance of Rs 10,000 to job seekers from the families who have given land for the project after they turn 17, and after a year, when they turn 18, they will be given jobs.
Furthermore, those who are falling short of fulfilling the service criteria — do not have the physical ability or educational qualification — for the post of junior constable would be appointed as Class IV clerks, said officials, adding that the process of awarding these jobs is already underway in nine departments.
However, in the future, only one person per family of those given their land would get a job, they said.
According to officials, as many as 400 people have been appointed as junior constables at the beginning of the Kayalkhani project, of which 354 are trainees. The government has identified 784 families in more than 90 villages for resettlement to date.
Officials said while employing a large number of candidates, it was observed that their educational qualifications and physical criteria were not suitable for the appointment as junior constables, so it was decided to give them Class IV clerk jobs.
The Birbhum Jomi, Jibon, Jibika o Prakriti Banchao Mahasabha (Birbhum Mahasabha for Saving Land, Life, Livelihood, and Nature) has been holding a sit-in demonstration against the project and the alleged police atrocities since February 22. The protesters said that they would not give their land for the project.
Protesters had claimed on December 23, police allegedly beat up several villagers, including women, who questioned a rally allegedly backed by the TMC in support of the project.
Thereafter, on February 22, TMC supporters allegedly attacked protesters after a public meeting in Dewangunj while police slapped cases against them. Miscreants had allegedly ransacked the houses of some of the agitators, claimed protesters.
A delegation of protesters even met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna in April last year, urging her to look into their concerns and withdrawal of alleged false police cases against them.
Banerjee had last November announced a compensation package for those who would be displaced or affected and assured them that there would not be any forcible acquisition of land as had allegedly happened in Singur in 2006 under the then Left Front government.