People’s Resistance against Land Acquisition at Nandigram
Nandigram is a cluster of villages in the east Midnapur district of West Bengal. It is situated on the banks of river Haldi. On the opposite bank lies the well-known industrial city –Haldia, which is under the administration of the Haldia Development Authority of West Bengal Government. Although it is in such proximity to an industrial city, the village is unaffected by development and primitive in its living standards. The roads are rudimentary and and the transport is archaic and hazardous. The only connection to the nearby Haldia city is by ferry. There is no bridge over the river. Nandigram is politically well-organized under the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) which a leading faction in the Left Front government of West Bengal. The people are totally dependent on multi-crop land for their subsistence. The idea of Special Economic Zone
The government of West Bengal deliberated that Haldia could made an industrial hub if Nandigram could be acquired for Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The Government of India had introduced the concept of SEZ in April 2000 with the object of enhancing foreign investments to promote exports from the country. Accordingly the policy furnished that the allotted SEZs would be deemed foreign territory for the purpose of trade operations, duties and tariffs. The state government had an important role to facilitate and provide land for the approved projects. The SEZs also have the advantages of income tax exemption for the first five years, permission for 100% foreign direct investment, and hosts of other benefits. The projects may be established by private, public r foreign firms or as combination of their partnerships. This was a fast-track development programme and the development starved people of Nandigram were expected to welcome it. Haldia Petrochemicals as well as Indian Oil Corporation had already created over one lakh jobs. Now, the...
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