In 2001, the Left Front government in West Bengal acquired nearly 300 acres at Shibpur mouza of Bolpur in Birbhum district to set up industries. The farmers were promised employment in the industrial units and were awarded compensation of Rs 48,000 for each bigha acquired (1 bigha in the state is equal to 0.33 acres). Yet, the market rate of the land, at Rs 5 lakh per bigha, was 10 times of what was given. As a result, the farmers started protestingthey uprooted the pillars erected and demanded compensation at the market rate.
In 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that an IT park and a university would be built on the acquired land. She estimated employment for about two lakh people. But the industries were nowhere to be seen in the months that followed. This did not go down well with the farmers who had given up their land hoping that the new industries would bring employment to the youth.
On January 30, 2017, more than 100 farmers, comprising mostly sharecroppers who had not received compensation for their lands, armed with iron rods and sticks, attacked construction workers working at the site of the proposed university, which was being built on 20 acres of the acquired land. On February 3, 2017, 21 people who had lost their lands filed a case in the Calcutta High Court against the governments decision to build a smart city and university.
In May 2019, Land Conflict Watch reached out to the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited for an update on the conflict but was unable to get a response. An email had also been sent to the organisation.
Type of Land
Private and Common
Type of Common Land
Total investment involved (in Crores):
Type of investment:
Land Area Affected