Power Grid Corpn. Of India Ltd (PGCIL) has shifted its 400/220 KV GIS substation project coming up at Karandighi in West Bengal to Kishanganj in Bihar. Kishanganj is around 50 kms away from Karandighi. The project for evacuation and transfer of power from generation projects in Sikkim was announced by PGCIL in December 2010. Around 65 acres was required to put up the transmission unit.
PGCIL claimed that even after three years of continuous efforts to acquire land for the project, required land could not be acquired. According to media reports, PGCIL had paid the state government an amount of Rs.150 million for payment against land acquired. From this around Rs.25 million was paid to the land owners (about 50 families) and 15 acres were acquired. However, acquisition of the remaining 50 acres was becoming difficult as land holders were asking for higher compensation. This led to PGCIL decide on shifting the location of the project just 50 kms away from Karandighi in Kishanganj, Bihar.
PGCIL has informed the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (WBSETCL) that the decision about shifting of the project, has been conveyed to the West Bengal government. The Corporation has also approached the state government for returning Rs.150 million given as payment against land acquisition. But the Land & Land Reforms Department of the West Bengal government does not know how to get the Rs.25 million back which was distributed to the project affected families.