Anxious to stop yet another major industry backing out of West Bengal due to land acquisition problems, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday said the government was prepared to hand over 45 acres of land each to IT majors Wipro and Infosys "immediately".
Earlier, the government had sanctioned land for the projects of two companies at the upcoming Vedic Village near Rajghat in Kolkata. However, the whole township project was scrapped a few days ago after it emerged that promoters Vedic Realty were associated with land sharks, and were using strong-arm methods to acquire land for the village.
The scandal was exacerbated by the fact that Vedic Village was also partnered by Webel, the state's main IT agency. It comes at a time when the CPI(M)-led government least needs it, as it has been battered in all recent elections.
Bhatacharjee abased himself so far as to make a public offer the land to the two companies. "The government wants to see that the two companies do business in the state," he said at a press conference.
"I'm proposing today through the media that we are ready to give 45 acres of land each to Wipro and Infosys. They can come and immediately take possession of the land and start new centres," the chief minister added.
"These companies can create 16,000 jobs in two years. I had a talk with my colleagues. We will start talking to the companies. The price of the land will be negotiated with theses companies," Bhattacharjee said.
On infrastructure, he said, the Rajarhat area already had housing, market complexes and road facilities. Bhattacharjee said the land was already with the state government and it would just have to change the land map at Rajarhat slightly to accommodate the IT companies.