Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Slander on Land Acquisition
The slander campaign against the Left Front government is mainly
based on land acquisition. An impression has been created as if the
government is forcibly acquiring huge tracts of farmland for
building SEZs and other private industries.

What is the reality?
Let us take the example of SEZs. Since the SEZ Act was notified in
2006, only 11 SEZs have been built in West Bengal till date, out of
which 9 are IT/ITES SEZs mostly built on 10 to 20 hectares of land,
with the largest one built on 48.5 hectares. Altogether, these 11
SEZs have required 210 hectares of land. Contrast this with the fact
that in Goa, 3 SEZs have been built on 250 hectares. Therefore,
the reality is that the area of land under SEZs in West
Bengal is even lower than that of a small state like Goa!

Moreover, during the same period, out of the 363 SEZs built across
the country, Andhra Pradesh has built 74 SEZs - the largest number
in a state - that have come up on 12300 hectares of land. The
table below shows how other states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu
etc. have built SEZs on large tracts of land.

Thus, while the baseless calumny against the Left Front
government regarding acquisition of large tracts of land has
continued unabated despite the West Bengal government not
allowing large SEZs to come up, states like Andhra Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Haryana have
handed over thousands of acres of land to big corporates and real
estate developers for SEZs. Those who have been crying
themselves hoarse about supposed land acquisition for SEZs in
West Bengal have not cared to protest against the proliferation of
SEZs in these states.

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