Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced in the state Assembly a compensation package of Rs 10,000 crore for people who would get displaced or affected because of the Deocha-Pachami coal mine project in Birbhum district. The Centre had allotted the Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj — the world’s second-largest coal block — a few years ago.
Banerjee assured that there would not be any forcible acquisition of land as had happened in Singur in 2006 during the rule of the Left Front.
“There will be no acquisition of land at Deocha-Pachami as had happened in Singur. The state government will ensure the rehabilitation of people who give their land for the project. They will be provided with land and houses, and a job [junior police constable] for at least one person from each family and all their rights will be protected,” the chief minister told the House after placing the rehabilitation package.
Banerjee noted that the mining project had the potential to generate almost one lakh jobs in Birbhum and its neighbouring districts. She added, “The state government is investing around Rs 35,000 crore in this project, which spans an area of 3.04 lakh acres. Of the 3.04 lakh acres, around 1 lakh make for government-owned land. We have spoken to all the stakeholders to ensure their interests are secured.”
The block has an estimated 2,102 million tonnes of coal. Banerjee has said the project requires an investment of Rs 12,000-15,000 crore and will supply coal for the next 100 years. The state has also set up a committee under the chief secretary to monitor the project.
Around 21,000 people, including 3,601 Scheduled Caste (SC) and 9,034 Scheduled Tribe (ST) people reside in 4,314 houses in 12 villages in the area.
The government said around 3,000 crusher labourers would receive annual maintenance of Rs 1.2 lakh. Around 160 agriculture labourers in the area will get one-time assistance of Rs 50,000 and 100 days’ work for 500 days. People in the area will get Rs 10 lakh and 13 lakh per bigha. Apart from this, they will also receive an additional Rs 5.5 lakh each as allowance for “maintenance, shifting, cattle shed, etc”. Each of them will also get a 600 sq feet house at RR Colony that the government would set up with all civic amenities, including roads, drinking water supply, health centre, power supply, anganwadi centres, ration shops, banks, playground, community centre, prayer halls for people from all religions and burial ground.
— With PTI inputs