DLF Township At Dankuni Fate Uncertain

The fate of the prestigious Rs 33,000-crore DLF township at Dankuni has become uncertain.

“The project will not be implemented if the Opposition party and landowners are not ready for it,” urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya said on Tuesday as Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee demanded that the state withdraw the acquisition notice.

The proposed township is one of the largest real estate projects in the country and the company has already shelled out Rs 270 crore to the government. Both residential and industrial, the township covering 4,840 acres is proposed to come up over 10 years.

“People are ready to sell land to those willing to purchase it directly, but not to the government. But we won’t take over or purchase land forcibly. If they are not ready, then the project will not happen. We will tell people this is how we tried, and this is why it did not work out,” the minister said.

Following the setback in the panchayat polls, the Left Front government has gone on record saying land acquisition for industry will not happen in areas where “people are not ready” for it. This has put the future of several township and industrial projects in the state in jeopardy. In fact, the deadline for completing land acquisition in Dankuni has been missed by six months.

Consent has come for only 200 acres and the government was forced to form a “procurement committee” with public representatives including those from the panchayat. It was decided the committee would talk to the people and take their consent before land is taken for the project.

The panchayat polls worsened the situation. CPM suffered heavy losses in the Dankuni area, losing eight gram panchayats to Trina-mool. As a result, the procurement panel will now have no panchayat pradhan from CPM.

“The base prices of land had been fixed. But now a new procurement committee will be formed in July. It is up to the committee to take a call,” the minister said, adding that it is yet to be decided if DLF will eventually try to directly purchase the land. The 200 acres for which consent has come “is in too remote an area and won’t do us any good”.

On her part, Mamata said: “Today, the government may say it is shelving the DLF project, but if the land acquisition notice is not formally withdrawn, it may later acquire land for some other project.”

Sudhir Sehgal, head of DLF Eastern Region said “It is a public-private partnership project, and we have signed an agreement. It is for the government to decide how the land will be taken over. As far as DLF is concerned, we are still committed to the project,”.

One Comment

  1. Posted June 9, 2008 at 4:30 am | Permalink

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