nearly ` 3.60 cr allegedly used to pay double compensation

Siliguri, 5 December
The SJDA has paid full compensation twice for land acquisition on its own acquired land.
The matter came to the fore after the arrest of the SJDA&’s former CEO Mr Godala Kiran Kumar in connection with the multi-crore financial scam.
Sources said SJDA officials allegedly misused nearly Rs 3.60 crore by paying compensation to faux land-owners to earmark over  80-acres of land required for setting up a film city, a dream project of chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, during the term of Dr Rudranath Bhattacharya as chairman and Mr Godala Kiran Kumar as chief executive officer.
Notably, the entire land was acquired by SJDA during the tenure of the Left Front.
The former SJDA chairman, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, had made payment of land and given a package for land owners.
But the former SJDA CEO Mr Kumar, ignoring the previous records of acquisition of land, allegedly had compensated  the encroachers as ‘land owners’.
After the change of guard in the state, a group of local residents mainly from Porajhar area made temporary structures on the acquired land and started demanding compensation as the SJDA authority started building boundary wall to earmark the entire land for developmental projects, including the film city.
Sources said a senior official, who dealt with the land acquisition and payment of compensation, had refused to entertain encroachers as ‘landowners’ even as the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority decided to  compensate them as present land owners.
Sources also confirmed that the former SJDA chief executive officer Mr Godala Kiran Kumar had enlisted nearly 70 families as beneficiaries in league with a group of local touts.
The genuine land owners, who were compensated earlier but were deprived after Trinamul Congress came to power, came to know of the irregularities and decided to demand more compensation after formation of a committee.
A few members of a family have allegedly received huge amount of compensation though they were not originally land owners of the acquired land.
Though such irregularities have not yet come under police investigation, a group of people has started reorganising them to demand compensation as the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, during her visit to Atharokhai in Siliguri, announced setting up of film city there.
Official sources said the present valuation of the land is nearly Rs 300 crore and the land earmarked for the film city was transferred to the state information and culture affairs department without receiving any consideration.