The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is considering centralising conversion of agricultural land into other purposes from the state secretariat Nabanna, instead of district or block levels.
“The state cabinet during its meeting today discussed that the control over conversion of agriculture land into other purposes should remain in the hands of the government’s top level to avoid interference of land mafias, manipulation in conversion process or any other controversy,” state Agriculture Minister Purnendu Bose said.
The issue of land use conversion figured in Friday's cabinet meeting, which came on the heels of the clash in Bhangor area in the southern fringes of the city where two villagers died while protesting the construction of a Power Grid sub-station.
“The matter is still at the discussion stage and no final decision has been taken. If conversion of land has to be centralised from the state secretariat, the existing Land Act needs to be amended and thus, an Amendment Bill has to be moved in the state Assembly,” Bose said.
“The entire process is a long drawn one and nothing has been finalised about how the Amendment Bill should be brought or which sections of the existing Land Act be changed for the purpose,” he said.
Villagers on Friday withdrew their blockades in Bhangor, where tension prevailed following disruption of law-and-order situation by some miscreants from outside with the provocation of some opposition political parties, Bose said.
“Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee has never acquired any land forcibly and not a single inch of land will be acquired forcibly in future by her government,” the minister said.
“The people of Bhangor have realised their mistakes and have now come forward to become a part of the development process initiated by the Mamata Banerjee government, leaving aside all disruptive methods. It is a good sign,” Bose added.