Jindal group returns land to West Bengal government, land losers demand jobs

Reported by

Mitali BiswasLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 20, 2021

Location of Conflict

salboni

,

Paschim Medinipur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

cement plant, steel plant, solar plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

485

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

190

ha

State

West Bengal

Sector

Infrastructure

In 2006, Jindal group proposed to set up a few industries in Salboni village in Medinipur district of West Bengal. These industries including a steel plant, thermal power plant, solar power plant and a cement plant were to come up on the 4877.44 acres of land. Of this total land, 4200 acres were provided by the Animal Welfare Board of the state government. Jindal Group purchased 294 acres of land from the 485 farmers. In 2008, the government declared the area as a special economic zone. Out of the 294  acres of land purchased from the farmers, about 100 acres belong to tribals. According to clause 14B of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act of 1955, tribal land cannot be transferred to a non-tribals. It is alleged that the company forcefully acquired this land from tribals. There was some forest land that was also taken for this project, but it is not clear how much. There are conflicting claims in the news reports. It is alleged that the forest land was taken without the consent of village councils, which is a violation of the Forest Rights Act 2006. Farmers received a compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs per acre of land but land labourers were not taken into consideration. In December 2014, Jindal Group chairman said that the company has put the Rs 35,000-crore project on-hold over the uncertainty of raw material linkages. Then in 2017, the company announced that they will require only 1,500 acres of land. It wants to return the remaining 4,300 land they held in excess to the state government. The state government will distribute the land back to the families from whom it was acquired. This has led to a conflict on the ground. Meanwhile, the company had promised to offer jobs to every land loser as part of the rehabilitation package but offered only 300 jobs that are contractual. The company is unable to give any job to the remaining 185 land losers. People demand that even if the company is returning the land, the government will have to provide permanent jobs and compensation to all the people who gave up their land in first place.

Region Classification

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

35000

Type of investment:

Investment Made

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

190

ha

Starting Year

2006

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Leftfront goverment, and TMC goverment

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

JSW Group, JSW Steel Ltd.

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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