Rs 125-cr jackpot for this Maharashtra village

| | Updated on: May 25, 2012

A remote village on the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border has hit an Rs 125 crore jackpot.

Thanks to the coal deposits that it is sitting on, villagers of Virur Gadegaon in the Naxal infested Chandrapur district (Maharashtra), will get the bounty from Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL).

WCL will have to pay the amount to acquire 1,500 acres for its coalmine project. WCL is a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL).

The prevalent per acre rate is about Rs 30,000-60,000 in Chandrapur region. However, under the CIL's new relief and rehabilitation policy, WCL will have to pay between Rs 6-15 lakh per acre, depending on the fertility of the land. On an average, a farmer will get Rs 8.33 lakh rate for his land.

Member of Parliament from Chandrapur, Mr Hansraj Ahir, told Business Line that land acquisition for coal projects in Maharashtra is governed by either the vintage Land Acquisition Act or Coal Bearing Areas Act of 1957. These Acts are limited by the ready reckoner rate, which gives very low compensation to the farmers, he said.

Mr Ahir said the new policy gives a better deal to the farmers. It will also provide employment to about 700 persons from the Virur Gadegaon village in the mining project, he said.

The CIL's new policy has been influenced by the land acquisition policy of the Chhattisgarh Government, which makes it mandatory for the acquiring company to pay Rs 10 lakh per acre for double-crop land, and Rs 8 lakh for single-crop areas.

Spokesperson for WCL, Mr M. K. Singh said the company would be acquiring about 1,500 acres. But the amount of money to be paid to the farmers would be decided by the company's board, he said.

Published on May 25, 2012

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