Railways will not forcibly acquire land, says Mamata

December 21st, 2010 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Dec 21 (IANS) Union Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday assured farmers that the railways will not forcibly acquire any land for its projects in West Bengal.”We have already initiated projects to start at least 12 big industries across the state. We have set up industries wherever we have land. We are strongly against forcibly acquiring land from farmers,” Banerjee said at a railway function at Krishnanagar city station in Nadia.

Challenging the state’s Left Front government led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Trinamool chief said: “If you are capable, then do something of your own instead of opposing railway projects.”

“We realised that land acquisition would be a major hindrance to launch projects. So, we did our homework. We already have a land bank with the vacant land available to the railways. Projects have been set up only on the railway land,” Banerjee maintained.

On Singur issue, she said: “I have repeatedly told them (the state government) to return 400 acres of the land to the unwilling farmers and to hand over the rest 600 acres to railways. If they do that, the railway will set up a wagon factory there.”

Banerjee laid the foundation stone for construction of a new railway line and a bridge over Bhagirathi river between Nabadwip Ghat and Nabadwip Dham station, construction of double lines between Kalinarayanpur junction and Shantipur junction, and between Bethuadahari and Plassey stations.

She also inaugurated the gauge conversion work between Krishnanagar city junction and Nabadwip Ghat.

A local train between Ranaghat and Shantipur stations was flagged off at Krishnanagar City station.

“The railway bridge over Bhagirathi river will be christened as ‘Dijendralal Sethu’, after a renowned Bengali poet from Krishnanagar, and an auditorium will come up in Plassey in future,” said Banerjee. More railway projects will come up across the state in near future, she added.

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