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Jharkhand CM defers foreign tour due to protests over land acts

IANS  |  Ranchi 

Chief Minister on Saturday postponed his foreign tour, which was planned to woo investors, due to rising protests after amendments were made in two land acts to facilitate industrialists in acquiring land.

Das, who was scheduled to leave for China on November 29 on a five day visit to woo investors for the February 2017 Global Investors meet, has postponed his tour, an official said.

This is the second time the Chief Minister has postponed his visit.

According to the official, the tour has been rescheduled but the next date is not clear.

Earlier, Das was scheduled to visit China on October 21 but it was postponed due to the October 22 tribal rally against the amendments in the two land acts.

On October 22, police firing took place in Khuti district which left one villager dead.

The government succeeded in passing the bills amending the two land acts -- Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act -- which were tabled on October 23 amid vehement protests by the opposition.

The amendments were cleared by voice vote, without any discussion.

After the passage of the amendment bills, agricultural land can be used for non-agricultural purposes.

The government can acquire land for infrastructure, power plants, roads, canals, Panchayat buildings and other purposes.

The opposition parties had called a statewide shutdown on November 25 which affected normal life.

The shutdown turned violent at some places. Eleven vehicles were torched by the shutdown supporters.

Das was on a tour to the US when another police firing took place on October 1 in Barkagao in Hazaribagh district in which four villagers protesting the acquisition of their land were killed. Das returned from the US on October 2.

The residents of Barkagao were protesting the land acquisition by the NTPC for coal block mining there. The villagers alleged that proper compensation was not given to them.

The coal blocks of Pankri Barwadih, Chatti Bariatu and Keredari were identified in 2004 with the coal yield estimated at 13 million tonnes. The foundation stone for the project was laid on November 21, 2005.

Overall, 8,100 acres of land was needed to be acquired, of which 4,000 acres was to be acquired from the 'rayats' (contract tillers), 2,900 acres forest land and 1,200 acres government land.

The land acquisition was estimated to hit 8,745 families, and the annual coal yield from this mining project was estimated at 13 million tonnes.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 26 2016. 17:26 IST