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Bengal plans land rehab package

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata 

Addressing the annual general meeting of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the state government would have a comprehensive package and adopt a cautious approach.

"We will take people into confidence, and must be careful. We must also have a comprehensive rehabilitation package," he said.

So far, the state government had been implementing rehabilitation packages depending on the nature of projects. However, it appeared that the West Bengal government would finally adopt a comprehensive rehabilitation package for land-losers, though the chief minister declined to elaborate. "You will see when it happens," said Bhattacharjee, responding to queries from mediapersons.

Union Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, who was also attending the meet, echoed Bhattacharjee's views and said, "We will have to acquire land for factories and roads but we will also have to make judicious use of land."

Mukherjee added that growth must be inclusive. "Every individual must have the feeling that I am being benefited," he said.

Mukherjee also emphasised the importance of nuclear power in meeting the growing demand for power, adding that 238 million people were without electricity.

He said by 2030, India would have to generate 800,000 MW of power. At present it stands at 160,000 MW, with nuclear power contributing 4,000 MW.

Mukherjee said that to fulfil the energy requirement at an affordable cost, nuclear power appeared to be the solution. "There is no alternative but to go for nuclear energy," he said.

Speaking about the crisis in Darjeeling and the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland, Mukherjee said the government was not in favour of a separate state as being demanded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

However, the Centre was ready to talk to GJM, he added.

An all-party meet would be held on June 17 to discuss the crisis in the hills and the Left Front has decided to keep GJM out of the all-party meet.

First Published: Sun, June 15 2008. 00:00 IST