Jharkhand to ban use of agriculture land for industries

April 12th, 2010 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, April 12 (IANS) The Jharkhand government will soon formulate a law banning transfer of agriculture land for industrial use, Agriculture Minister Mathura Mahto said here Monday.
“We will soon formulate a law to ban transfer of agriculture land for industries. There is need to promote agriculture in the state. Of the 79 lakh hectares in Jharkhand, only 34 lakh hectares are cultivable and the rest is barren land,” Mahto told IANS.

He said industries could be set up on barren land.

“The state produces only half of the food grains it consumes. There is need to promote farming in the state. There will be a crisis if agricultural land is transferred to industries,” he added.

Farmers in the state are opposing acquisition of their land for industries. Mega steel projects like that of Arcelor Mittal have been stalled due to this.

Mahto said a draft law would be prepared soon and placed before the cabinet.

Mahto said a meeting of different departments like rural development and water resources would discuss water conservation and supply to farm land by the end of this month.

Only 12 per cent of land is irrigated in the state.

“We will explore possibilities of using pipes to take water to the drought zone,” said Mahto.

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