Patna: A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led Jharkhand government approved 16.35 acres of land to Adani Thermal Power Limited for setting up a 1,600 MW power plant in Godda district, local residents and opposition questioned the decision to serve the interests of the Adani Group and vowed to continue their protest against land acquisition.
The State Cabinet Coordination department Principal Secretary SKG Rahate said the cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Raghuvar Das on Wednesday cleared 16 acres of land to Adani Power at a cost of Rs 58 lakh for a period of 30 years.
Rahate claimed the decision to provide land to Adani Power for setting up a power plant was taken as per the rules.
With the upcoming Lok Sabha polls hardly a month away and the Election Commission likely to announce poll dates in the next few days, the state government’s latest decision is widely seen with suspicion.
In taking the decision, the government has also ignored the local tribal villagers and opposition parties’ protest against land acquisition by Adani Power in Godda. The opposition leaders have repeatedly raised the issue of Adani Power proposed plant at Godda that will supply power directly to Bangladesh but will not give even 25% of power generation to Jharkhand. They pointed out that land and resources of Jharkand should not be allowed to be exploited for the commercial venture of Adani.
“The state government has been doing everything to benefit Adani. The latest decision is also part of it. We are not at all surprised. But local villagers will fight for their land as land is the main and only source of our livelihood” Maghnu Hembrum ,a tribal villager in Godda told Newsclick over telephone on Thursday.
Another villager-cum-social activist Mary Nisha Handsa said the state government is hell bent to help Adani for power plant at the cost of snatching land of local tribals, which was their livelihood.
Nearly one and half dozen villagers have filed a petition in the Jharkhand High Court in February 2019 against land acquisition by Adani Power in Godda.
The Opposition Jharkhand Vikas Morcha supremo, Babulal Marandi, said the BJP government at the Centre and in the state was not serving the interests of the common people.Both the governments are fully working to serve the interest of corporate houses.
”The BJP-led central government and state government are helping Adani group out of the way to make more income. The government had already changed some rules for it”, he said, alleging that the decision ahead of the Lok Sabha polls was aimed at BJP getting a huge donation from Adani group.
“We will not sit silent. We will take this issue to the court of people and will expose BJP’s nexus with Adani in Jharkhand during the election campaign” Marandi said.
A leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha said government has neglected the interest of poor tribals by allowing Adani group to set up the power plant. ”Most of the land that would be acquired by Adani Power is agricultural land. The tribals will be pushed to nowhere”.
According to state government own admission in 2016, the Adani group led by Gautam Adani, requested the Jharkhand government to acquire nearly 2,000 acres of land in 10 villages in Godda to set up its power plant. In 2017,the state government had informed the Adani group that it would acquire 917 acres in six villages