Vidarbha farmers welcome The Inter-Ministerial Group's (IMG) decision of de-allocation of four Vidarbha mines located in the agrarian crisis hit region allotted to private firms. Thousands of hector of land was acquired at throw away prices by giving job promises to farmers but it was an eye wash.
NOW THE as coal blocks of arki-Mangli and Chinora–Warora have been de-allocated, therefore the land acquired for the purpose should be restored to the original farmers who are now landless and facing starvation.
The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) has taken the decision, too late, to control damage when a huge controversy broke out over the allocation of coal blocks after the recent CAG report that criticised the government for allotting them in a non-transparency way, and massive fraud was unearthed. Now that the allocation was illegal, then all action taken threin after, is also illegal. Hence when demand of return of land to original farmers without delay should be looked into earnestly.
The modus operandi used by coal scammers is as follows. Coal mines are land-intensive projects, much more land intensive than any other industry. To grab the land these coal mafias initiated land acquisition process through government under Land Acquisition Act. Often giving unrealistic estimate of land required for starting a coal mine which they were never intending to use for a project. In the process they made hundreds and thousands poor farmers landless. They often paid the remuneration in installments over a long period of time. Land acquisition packages often contain the condition of employing at least one person from each of affected families.