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Rly to give market price,job for land acquired

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to introduce a job-for-land policy to ensure that displaced families not only get market price...

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi |
July 29, 2010 2:44:46 am

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to introduce a job-for-land policy to ensure that displaced families not only get market price for their land being acquired by the Railways,but also a permanent job. Banerjee’s new policy notified by Rail Bhawan a few days ago is likely to go down well especially in her home state that goes to polls next year.

In a notification issued on July 16,the Railway Board told general managers at its zonal offices “to call and consider job applications” from land-losers and ensure “fair and transparent selection of candidates”. Those selected would be entitled to PB-1 pay band of Rs 5,200-20,000 with grade pay of Rs 1,800 a month.

Earlier,Banerjee had announced at a gathering in West Bengal that her ministry would provide jobs to a member of each family whose land is acquired for railway projects. She had said small stretches of land were required for laying tracks but promised that projects would be implemented only at places where people would willingly give land against compensation.

The change in the acquisition policy also comes after the Railways faced “protests” in UP for the dedicated freight corridor after it served notices to farmers for acquiring land.

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But this could well turn out to be a costly exercise for the Railways. Sources in the Rail Bhawan said 21,500 acres would be required for the western and eastern freight corridors,implying thousands of jobs will have to be created to meet the new commitment.

The new policy specifies that the applicant should be the sole owner of the acquired plot or next of kin of the owner and if the land is owned by more than one person,railway officials will decide who should get the job. “It must be ensured the displaced person has not received any land from the state in lieu of his land acquired,” the notification states. Railway will request the land acquisition officer to issue certificates to those whose land has been acquired.

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