Mamata Banerjee to 800 peasants, may offer another land to Tatas

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Photo by Pintu Pradhan/Tehelka
Photo by Pintu Pradhan/Tehelka

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on September 14 return 9,117 land records to Singur farmers and compensate 800 peasants from whom land had been taken against their will in Singur for Tatas .

The West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo (TMC) will honour her promise of formally handing over the 9,117 land parchas (records) to the Singur farmers.

It may be noted that on August 31 the Supreme Court had cancelled the deal through which the former Left government in the state had acquired 1,000 acres of land in Singur for Tatas to build a car factory in 2006.

Banerjee on September 12 said that out of 997.11 acres, the government had completed land survey and demarcation of plots for as many as 620 acres by September 13.

After coming to power, the Chief Minister passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to take over the land given to the Tata’s by the previous Left government.

However, former state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said, “Banerjee would be going to Singur to hand over the cheques to farmers. But the other part of the story is what would be the fate of the land.”

“I want to know why they have delayed this (distribution of cheques) for six months? Who has suffered because of all this? I don’t understand how long this drama would continue,” he added.

A trial court had upheld the acquisition of the land in Singur and the law passed by the TMC government was declared unconstitutional on appeal. Later, the case was placed before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, it was said that Banerjee is wooing the Tatas with another land deal to set off the losses suffered in Singur. One of the ministers in Mamata government has announced that another land—800 acre— is ready in  the industrial hub of Kharagpur for Tatas to put up a Nano car manufacturing plant.

She had said, “There are so many places available. why hanker after one place? We can give land from our land bank. There is no need to face problems. We will face it. Give us the choice. I think options are all open.”