Buy land directly from farmers, says West Bengal’s draft policy

June 15th, 2011 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, June 15 (IANS) Industrialists planning to invest in West Bengal would have to buy all the land they require from land owners and the government would provide homes to each family rendered homeless due to industrialisation, says a draft on a new land use policy submitted by an expert committee Wednesday.

“We have submitted a draft on the land use policy to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” said Debabrata Bandhapadhyay, who headed the two-member panel formed to prepare the land use policy, land bank and land map.

“We have recommended that industrialists will purchase 100 percent of the land required for their project directly from the land owners, while the government will take the initiative to provide a house to each of the landless and houseless people,” said Bandopadhyay.

Simultaneously, the government will extend help and even arrange for bank loan for the sharecroppers to purchase the land they are cultivating if their owners desire to sell it off.

Excess use of fertilisers in agriculture is reducing the soil fertility and a policy will be made to ban excess use of chemical fertilisers, the draft said.

Farmers should be made aware about the usage of organic fertiliser and its benefits at the same time usage of GM seeds should be prohibited, it proposed.

“There are around 12 lakh ponds across the state. If the ponds can be re-excavated it will help in irrigation of the farmland. The state records around 17,000 ml of rain water which is not sufficient for irrigation of agricultural lands throughout the area. If the ponds can be used for irrigation, a huge portion of land will come under irrigation system,” said Bandopadhyay.

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