Katwa farmers on warpath
Durgapur, Sept. 15: Nearly 3,000 farmers marched with their cows and ploughs to the Katwa sub-divisional office this morning, demanding that a proposed power project in the Burdwan town be shifted from their “fertile” land.
“We are not against the power plant or industry but it should be on barren land. We won’t give up our fertile multi-crop land. Why doesn’t the government expand its existing units?” said Rabindranath Roy, secretary of the Krishi Jomi Krishak Khetmajur Raksha Committee.
The committee joint secretary, Debaprasad Chatterjee, alleged that politicians were trying to force villagers to part with their plots. He was referring to a committee set up at an all-party meeting to convince villagers. The Trinamul Congress and the SUCI had boycotted the meet.
“Although we don’t want to identify ourselves with any party, we will ask Mamata Banerjee to sit on a dharna for us if necessary,” he said.
The farmers have submitted a memorandum to SDO Y. Ratnakar Rao.
The Burdwan administration has lined up hearings from September 22 to 25 for the acquisition of 350 acres in the first phase. The project requires 1,033 acres belonging to 4,600 farmers in 14 mouzas.
The administration had held hearings on July 30 and August 1 for the first phase, but 205 out of 250 farmers who attended had refused to part with their land.