Bengal land policy could be model for India: Mamata

Burdwan, July 15 (IANS) With her Trinamool Congress set to oppose the land bill in parliament, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the land acquisition policy of her government which is opposed to any forcible grabbing of land could be the model for the entire country.

“It is the people’s right to decide what they will do with their land… We should not force people to sell their land”, Banerjee said while addressing a gathering of state ministers, top officials, intellectuals and bureaucrats at her 100th District Administrative Meeting here.

“There should not be any forceful acquisition of land and we don’t accept such a thing,” she said.

The chief minister said her government has already come up with a land acquisition policy and created a land bank.

“We can’t wait for the centre to come up with land acquisition guidelines or policy as we have several projects to do,” she said.

Banerjee said already 14,000 acres of land have been given for projects from the land bank.

“I think the land acquisition policy and the resultant land bank should be the model for the entire country “, she said adding her government hasn’t acquired any piece of land forcibly.

The vexed Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, popularly called the Land Acquisition Bill is facing stiff hurdles in parliament with opposition parties and even some government allies coming out against the proposed legislation.

The Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance government lacks a majority in the upper house of parliament, where the bill is yet to be passed.

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