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No force can be used to acquire land: Kalam

Last updated on: March 16, 2007 17:26 IST

Amidst the raging controversy over the acquisition of farm land for industry, President A P J Abdul Kalam on Friday said no force should be used to take land from cultivators.

"Any industrialist should discuss with the farmers. Unless they (farmers) agree to give their land, it should not be taken. It (land transfer) should be a mutual concern. There should not be any clash and no force can be used (to acquire land)," Kalam told reporters at the Raj Bhawan in Shillong.

The President was asked if he supported the acquisition of farm land for industries. Noting that there two types of land, cultivable and dry, he said discussions should be held for acquiring cultivable land.

Kalam, however, said problems were bound to arise if any one wanted to take up some activity. "Tell me one area where there is no problem," he told the questioner. "If you don't do any work, there would be no problem. But problems should not defeat you, rather you defeat the problem," he said.

Earlier, addressing members of the Meghalaya assembly, he called for setting up three SEZs in the state to generate additional revenues of Rs 2,500 crore and create 25,000 employment opportunities.

Kalam said this during his first power-point presentation to a state assembly in Shillong. In his hour-long presentation, Kalam suggested creation of an SEZ in Shillong for farming of herbal, aromatic and ginger varieties, leading to production of drugs and aromatic products for export.

Another SEZ could be located in a place that attracted tourists -- like one surrounded by waterfalls -- with a museum of tribal cultures along the lines of Chhattishgarh, orchid floriculture farm and a science and technology park, he said.

The third one, Kalam said, could be centred around mining of special material and associated products. According to Kalam, the SEZs would attract pharmacy, biotechnology and hotel industries. In this regard, he also stressed the need for setting up of a full-fledged airport.

Kalam gave the MLAs a 'Mission for Meghalaya' consisting of seven points with agriculture, horticulture and floriculture topping the list.

The others were education and healthcare, water management, bamboo mission, tourism, establishment of PURA (providing urban amenities in rural areas) for rural prosperity and SEZ.

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