Discontent is once again brewing among villagers in Bhangar in West Bengal’s South Paraganas district over setting up of a power grid in the area.
The agitators have once again stalled construction work of a sub-station in the area- proposed by the state government and the Power Grid Corporation of India due to the alleged breach of understanding by the government and Power Grid authorities.
The agitators alleged that contrary to their initial promises which include improving roads in the locality, ensure adequate street lights, health centres and making arrangements for vocational training of local youths the Power Grid authorities have taken no positive steps for the development of the Bhangar.
The discontent of the villagers came to the fore once again on Friday when a six-hour long meeting between them and state government officials failed to yield any result.
“The state government had promised that all cases against the agitators including those under UAPA will be withdrawn but none has been done so far. This is sheer breach of trust,” Mirza Hassan, one of the leaders of the agitation told DH. The movement is being conducted under the banner of the Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood and Ecosystem. Interestingly the agitators themselves have no qualms in admitting that they are Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers and have repeatedly reminded the ruling party leadership that it is land agitations which have catapulted TMC to power in 2011.
However, the Block Development Officer (BDO) Kaushik Kumar Maity, who took part in the meeting said that “ the locals raised some issues during the meeting and we have been able to resolve a significant number of those at the block level.” He also said that another meeting will be held on December 31 in Alipore in south Kolkata to resolve the issue.
The construction of power grid in Bhangar came to a grinding halt on January 17, 2017 following intense agitation by locals who alleged that not only was their land snatched by the local TMC leadership for the project but the power grid would also result into severe health and environmental hazards. Four persons including a local TMC leader died in the course violent agitation.