Jharkhand CM meets villagers protesting land acquisition by NTPC

Ranchi, Aug 16 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Tuesday met villagers protesting against the acquisition of land for NTPC’s Pakri-Barwadidh coal mining project and told them no injustice would be done to them.

Das met about 300 people from Barkagaon in Hazaribagh district here in the presence of senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and his son Jayant Sinha, who is currently a central minister and represents Hazaribagh in the Lok Sabha.

“The Chief Minister heard the villagers’ grievances and suggestions. He told them he will hold a meeting with NTPC officials and that no injustice will be done with anyone,” Yashwant Sinha told reporters later.

Sources said the villagers told Das that they wanted Rs one crore for every acre of their land.

Das assured the villagers their concerns will be addressed. He said only the needed farmland will be acquired and the displaced people will be properly rehabilitated.

Also present during the meeting was Congress MLA Nirmala Devi who represents Barkagaon in the state assembly.

She said: “NTPC is doing work without properly acquiring the land.”

The opposition in Jharkhand has united against land acquisition by the public sector National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as well as “undue favours” being accorded to private companies in land acquisition in the state.

The Pakri-Barwadidh coal block in Barkagaon block of Hazaribagh was allocated to NTPC in 2010, but work could not start due to the local villagers’ protest. In the past, police had also fired at the protesters, killing one.

An FIR was lodged on July 24 against opposition leaders, including former chief Minister Babulal Marandi and former central Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, and 400 people for allegedly trespassing in a prohibited mining area.

Jharkhand is currently ruled by a coalition of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).



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1 Comment

  1. dattajv
    August 18, 2016 at 11:09 pm Reply

    The PakriBarwadi coal block was allotted to NTPC in year 2004 and not 2010, as mentioned in the article. Somehow NTPC has failed to get the support from locals, though they are present in the area since 2004. Lack of initiative, drive, lack of professional approach, total breakdown of law and order machinery, lack of proper cooperation from the state government, posting of disinterested staff, who knew nothing other than a power plant were given the responsibility of dealing with the revenue officials and forest department and establish a rapport with local population. Apart from this the un viable and unreasonable demands of astronomical rates of 60 lakhs, 80 lakhs, one Crore per acre, presence of Maoist groups, raising aspirations of villagers at the behest of so called activists have complicated the issue. NTPC’s mindset that everything including their work also should be done by ‘thekedar’ is the basic problem. Unless government comes down heavily on the trouble makers, no coal project can take off in the area.

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