RAIPUR: Twelve days after taking a decision in a cabinet meeting, the Chhattisgarh government has issued order to return the lands acquired for the Tata Steel project, which couldn't take off, from the 10 tribal villages in Bastar.
The Congress looking forward to highlight the occasion as 'consequential initiative by the party' is contemplating to invite its president Rahul Gandhi during the launching of land return process to the tribal highlighting Lohandiguda, about 340 km south of Raipur.
During the recently held Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi in one of the poll rallies promised the people at Jagdalpur (Bastar) to return the land acquired from tribals since after so many years the Tata Steel project failed to come up.
"CM Bhupesh Baghel will be in Delhi on Friday to invite the Congress president for a Bastar trip-", a senior Congress leader told the New Indian Express. Around 4400 acres land are to be returned to 1707 tribal families who were displaced when their land were acquired by the previous BJP government a decade ago after an MoU was signed with the Tata Steel in 2005 for a 5.5 million tonne per annum capacity mega integrated steel plant.
During the process of land acquisition the local tribals had protested against parting their land. In May 2016 the company finally decided to quit the project. The land is to be returned to the original owners or their immediate legal heirs as per the provisions of the 'Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 under the Section 101.
It stipulates that any land acquired if doesn't get utilised within a period of five years from the date of possession, the same will be returned to the original owners or their heirs. Under the given process on returning lands at Lohandiguda, the title 'industry department' written in the revenue records of the private acquired land from 10 villages will be deleted and replaced by the revenue department, which would takeover the authority of the given land in accordance to the rules. Later the procedure of identifying the land as per the name of original owners will be carried out where the tehsildar will registered the individual cases.