“The West Bengal cabinet, in a recent meeting discussed that the control over the conversion of agricultural land into other purposes, should remain in the hands of the government’s top level, to avoid interference of land mafias, manipulation in the conversion process or any other controversy,” the state’s agriculture minister, Purnendu Bose has revealed. The issue of land use conversion figured in the cabinet meeting, following the clash in Bhangor area in the southern fringes of Kolkata, 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. 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,” Bose said.
Villagers withdrew their blockades in Bhangor, where tension prevailed, following disruption of law and order, which Bose attributed to miscreants from outside and provocation of some opposition political parties. “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.