Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Land to curb Maoist influence


MALDA, June 11: To curb Maoist influence in Bankura, Purulia and Midnapore districts, the state government has plans to distribute more land among the landless of the three districts.
“Last year 3,000 pattas were distributed among the land less in the Maoist affected districts. Going by our experience it can be said, the exercise has made the people happy,” the state land commissioner Mr PK Agarwal, said during a distribution of records programme at Kaliachak today.
According to him, his department has allotted Rs 30 crore in the last financial year to all districts to provide land to landless cultivators but the project is yet to be implemented fully.
When asked about the system of returning land acquired by the state government to farmers unwilling to offer farm land for the Tata small car project in Singur, he said: “ It is not possible to return acquired land right now. But they can be rehabilitated.”
Addressing the “record of rights” (patta) distribution programme at Manikchak panchayat samiti today, Mr Agarwal said the state government has stressed to distribute land to landless farmers in West Bengal, the pioneer state in the country and the department achieved more than the targeted figure of 10,000 acres last year.” According to him a total of 85,000 pattas were distributed last year.
The government has planned to distribute 16 decimal lands to each landless person after buying land from others if there is no available vest land in the respective district. The Malda district has received Rs 1 crore for this purpose, Mr Agarwal pointed out.
The government has also launched a plan for the ‘record of right holders’ pattadar so that they can receive loan from the banks at four per cent rate of interest where private moneylenders generally claim 36 per cent interest.
The bankers would issue credit cards to them and based on the cards the pattaders would be able to buy seed, fertiliser and other components for cultivation.