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Land acquisition and rehab in Barapukuria to cost Tk 191 crore

Update: 2010-08-18 23:38:06
Land acquisition and rehab in Barapukuria to cost Tk 191 crore

DHAKA: The government has earmarked Tk 191 crore for funding the acquisition of 646 acres of land and rehabilitation of the people displaced for the Barapukuria coalmine, according to a draft budget.

A sum of Tk 80 crore has been projected as land-acquisition cost while Tk 109 crore for rehabilitation and Tk 1.5 crore for ancillary costs, according to the budget proposals.

The state-run petroleum corporation, Petrobangla, will sit in a meeting Saturday to evaluate and finalise the draft budget for Barapukuria coal hub in Dinajpur in the country’s backwater north.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 8 asked the Energy and Power Ministry to intensify the process of land acquisition and rehabilitation.

The draft of the budget has been availed by When contacted, Petrobangla chairman Dr Hossain Mansur and Barapukuria Coal Company Limited managing director Engineer M Qamaruzzaman could not be reached for their comments.

Officials said the budget earmarked Tk 19.44 crore for acquiring 486 acres of farmland at Tk 4 lakh for each acre. Each acre of homestead and commercial lands has been proposed at Tk 7 lakh, the total cost coming to Tk 11.20 crore.

Local sources said there are over two thousand small, medium and large establishments in 646 acres of land. The cost for their removal would come to Tk 33 crore while loss of economically valuable perennials would cost Tk 8 crore.

Each acre of agricultural land will be compensated at Tk 25,000, which will cost Tk 1.22 crore in total. For relocating business establishments, Tk 1.38 crore has been proposed while establishment of land-acquisition office and its expenses will cost Tk 5.57 crore.  

The total rehabilitation bill has been proposed at Tk 109.74 crore, of which the owners of agricultural land will get Tk 77.76 crore. Homestead and commercial buildings on 160 acres of land would claim Tk 28.80 crore.

The budget also proposed rehabilitation of landless farmers of the area. An amount of Tk 3.18 crore has been proposed for 318 such families who each will get Tk 1 lakh.   

Miscellaneous costs have been estimated Tk 1.60 crore.

In 2009, homesteads and other establishments at Barapukuria witnessed large scratch on walls while land at different places suffered subsidence under the impact of the country’s first operational and largest coalmine. People of the locality waged movement demanding compensation.

A senior official of the Energy Ministry told that the Ministry formed a committee to evaluate possible losses of the locals for Barapukuria coalmine and the committee submitted a report to the government after visiting the area for rehabilitation.

“The committee spoke to people who might suffer and tried to ascertain actual extent of loss. Taken into calculation were also agricultural land, houses and trees,” said the official.

The land acquisition will follow the same process as applied for acquisition of land for the Jamuna bridge.

The government has selected a spot for setting up a camp for rehabilitating the affected families as per their wish.

BDST 1800 HRS, AUGUST  19, 2010.

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