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).