labels: industry - general, economy - general
WB to lay down comprehensive land use policy news
09 October 2006

West Bengal may be the first state to lay down a comprehensive land use policy, reports CNBC-TV18.

The Singur flare up appears to have taught the Left Front government of Bengal that it needs to build a positive public opinion on farmland acquisition. It needs to illustrate that agriculture was not being sacrificed for industrial growth, before more land was acquired.

And that has led the administration to identify zones, acre-by-acre, for industrial use, and demarcate fertile spaces that are going to be spared for agriculture.

"The government is preparing a map of areas that could be transformed into townships or industrial zones. Once it is ready, we''ll circulate it amongst people of the state and political parties so that everyone gets a comprehensive picture of what we are planning to do," said Nirupam Sen, Commerce and Industries Minister, West Bengal.

At present, agriculture accounts for about 26 per cent of Bengal''s state domestic product. Industry contributes 24 per cent, and the booming service sector accounts for the balance 50 per cent. The exercise to separate industrial zones comes at a time when the Bengal government has committed to acquire close to 50,000 acres of farmland for development of infrastructure and industrial use.

Unless the government had people''s support in its drive for industrialisation, Singur could repeat itself in a bigger form and seriously undermine the Left Front''s support base in Bengal.

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WB to lay down comprehensive land use policy