The West Bengal government on Thursday said it would acquire 5,963 acres for reconstruction of 834 km of embankments in the Sundarbans breached by Cyclone Aila.

“The decision has been taken on principle in a cabinet meeting convened by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for immediate restoration of the area,” state Finance minister Asim Dasgupta told reporters here.

Dr. Dasgupta said that concerned departments including irrigation, land and revenue and Sundarbans Development Affairs have been asked to submit reports to the government on land acquisition and procedures involved.

This decision comes despite the state government announcing on July 16, during the shelving of the 85 km Barasat-Raichak Expressway project requiring 3,000 acres, that it would no longer acquire land.