The government will take steps to resettle and compensate the affected residents of several villages covering a area of three square kilometres at Barapukuria Coalmine project in Dinajpur.
“We requested the locals to form committee and submit their report about the compensation due to subsidence of their agricultural land and crack occurred in their residential houses,” Adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Energy, Power and Mineral Resources Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi yesterday said this at a press conference at Secretariat. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Shamsul Alam Tuku and State Minister for Forest and Environment Mostafizur Rahman were also present at the press conference.
Towfiq said that the government would take short-mid and long-term project to compensate the affected people.
The government would start resettlement and compensation programmes directly after receiving reports from representatives of the affected people, he added. The adviser said the ministry took the initiative for going compensation following the direction of the prime minister.
State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources
Shamsul Alam Tuku said that the government wanted to continue coal extraction from the project with the assistance of the locals.
“Due to negligence of the then BNP government, the affected residents of Barapukuria couldn’t get compensation. But, the present government would take initiative to compensate them,” he said.
We would do nothing at Barapukuria without consent of locals, he further said.
“Country’s economic growth is being hampered for want of power. For this, coal extraction is a must,” Tuku said.
He informed that nearly 40 to 50 acres of lands at Mowpukur, Kalupara and Jigapara villages’ adjacent to Barapukuria faced subsidence following the coal extraction.
State Minister for Forest and Environment Mostafizur Rahman, who is also Member of Parliament from constituency said that panic gripped the local residents following several cracks that occurred at different buildings at a number of villages here.
Earlier, the adviser and two others state ministers visited the Barapukuria on January 27 and 28 and met the affected people.
Nearly 18 lakh tonnes of coal valued Tk 900 crore have been extracted during last three years from the Barapukuria coal mining with market value of Tk 900 crore. Besides the power development board produced 250 MW of power daily from the coal run power plant at Barapukuria.