ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BOSNIA-Still Indecisive

government, the SSDA went about its task in as unscrupulous a way as any urban development agency in any other part of India, completely indifferent to the fate of the old inhabitants of the area. It acquired the land under a provision of the Town and Country Planning Act and offered a compensation that ranged from Rs 800 to Rs 1,500 to each of the affected peasant-owners of the small plots of cultivable land that was acquired. The same plots are being sold today at rates ranging from Rs 13,000 to Rs 17,000 to purchasers (mainly from Calcutta and other urban centres) who can afford to pay that amount. Neither the SSDA nor the Left Front leaders bothered to find out how the paltry sum offered as compensation to the peasant-owners could help them to survive, deprived of their land (which was their only source of livelihood) and. ill-equipped for any other job Meanwhile, concerned people among the inhabitants of Shantiniketan formed the Association for Protecting Rights and Area Development (APRAD) to fight for the land rights of the peasants who were being dispossessed by the development plans of SSDA. They went to the court, but were defeated. The SSDA, encouraged by the court verdict, has begun construction on the disputed land, as a first step to wards setting up the proposed township. Ironically, the day labourers who are employed to work on the construction site are mainly the same tribal and scheduled caste peasant-owners and marginal farmers who once owned and cultivated the paddy fields on that site.

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