West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd (Hidco) is in the process of acquiring 1,120 acres more for the Rajarhat township.
The township, being developed at the north-eastern fringe of Kolkata, is likely to attract an investment of Rs 60,000 crore, said state’s housing minister Gautam Deb.
“So far we have sanctioned building plans worth Rs 11,000 crore in the area,” Deb said.
The first location in Rajarhat, Action area I, has been developed adjacent to Salt Lake's Sector V electronic complex. Action Area II, near Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, is almost complete while Action Area III will be built behind Action Area I, closer to southern part of the city.
“Total cost of development of Rajarhat is around Rs 7,000 crore, of which Rs 2,000 crore has already been spent,” he said. According to him, Hidco has already paid Rs 600 crore to farmers in the area.
Hidco, which was set up as a government company in 1999, has 6807.57 acres in its possession in the area. While it has purchased 250.97 acres directly from the farmers, rest had been acquired under Land Acquisition Act.
“So far there has not been any incident of firing or forceful acquisition in Rajarhat,” Deb said. Making an oblique reference to the allegation of the opposition that land has been acquired by employing goons, Deb said Hidco has not used musclemen to acquire land.
“We have set up a Land Procurement Committee to fix the price of the land. Apart from that, there is a Neighbourhood Committee,” he said.
Answering to the allegation made by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for calling TMC MLA Arabul Islam, to his office, Deb said: “Arabul is an elected representative and part of his constituency is in the Rajarhat area. So I had to call him to my office to discuss about different issues.”
Reacting to the Vedic Village incident, Deb (who is also chairman of Hidco which controls Rajarhat township) said, “The state government is investigating the case and will take stern action against the guilty.”
Refusing to comment on the fate of IT projects there awaiting land acquisition, he said: “You should ask the question to IT minister Debesh Das.”