Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that Sundarbans, where Cyclone Aila had wreaked havoc in May 2009, needs extensive construction of permanent embankments for which land would be acquired at market rates.

Blaming the erstwhile Left Front Government for not repairing the damaged embankments and constructing new ones despite receiving central funds, Banerjee told reporters that about Rs 600 crore still remained unspent.

"The fund will be utilised for repairing embankments and constructing new ones while about 6,000 acre is required for the construction of permanent embankments to prevent disasters," she said.

"There will be no forcible acquisition of land for the 6,000 acre for construction of permanent embankments to prevent floods in the Sundarbans."

Land, she said, would be acquired through negotiations and compensation will be paid at market price.

A monthly allowance for the families, affected by land acquisition, will be considered and depending on the qualification, one member would be eligible for appointment as school teacher.

All people's representatives and administrative heads like DMs have been asked to work out strategy for the acquisition and assessing the compensation, she said.

Stating that the land acquisition policy for the state was yet to be formulated, Banerjee said that the land committee comprising of Debabrata Bandyopadhyay and Somendra Nath Bose was working out for a plan.

Banerjee also said that efforts would be made to prevent floods in the Teesta, Ichhamati, Keleghai, Kangsabati, Kapaleswari, and Subarnarekha rivers, besides measures against
drought and for conservation of water in districts.