Zoning and mapping of 129 blocks in Bengal complete: Mitra

Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) In a bid to augment food security, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra Friday announced the successful completion of digitised zoning and land-use mapping in 129 blocks in the state.

“Out of 341 blocks in the state, digitised zoning and land-use mapping has been completed in 129 blocks. This will help locate single crops, multiple crops, dry barren land, forested land, metal roads, national highway, state highway, rail line, industrial areas and water bodies,” Mitra said.

“This will foster food security among farmers. Now no one will be able to play games like the ones played earlier,” he said.

Mitra said digitised work related to mapping has been completed in the districts of Hooghly, Howrah, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, East Midnapur and Murshidabad.

“Zoning has been done in all the 14 blocks in Howrah, 18 in Hooghly, 26 in Murshidabad, 17 in Nadia, 25 in East Midnapur and 29 in South 24 Parganas which add up to 129 blocks,” added Mitra.

According to Mitra, following mapping and zoning, food security will increase among farmers, while industrialists will have data on sites to establish factories without violating laws.

“Our government will not allow agricultural land to be snatched away for industrial purposes. The chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) has reiterated this … Singur and Nandigram happened in the past. The agitations there were on this issue,” said Mitra.

Singur in Hooghly district and East Midnapore district’s Nandigram saw large-scale agrarian protests spearheaded by then opposition leader Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress between 2006 and 2008 against the Left Front government’s alleged attempts to forcibly acquire land for setting up industries. The two movements played a major catalytic role in bringing the Trinamool to power in 2011.

Mitra Friday said Tourism and service sector hubs can be constructed based on the information gleaned from the detailed maps.

“Information on bio-environment of wetlands and information on surface water for arsenic-free water supply through pipes can be accessed through the maps,” he said.

Mitra said the next phase of zoning is being done blockwise for Malda, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts, for which land use mapping has already been done.

“Blocks in West Midnapur, Bankura, Purulia, Bardhaman and Birbhum will be taken up next for zoning, after the ongoing zoning process is over in other blocks,”

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