Political stalemate over car project hinders industrialisation

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Kolkata, Aug 21 (UNI) CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury today said the political imbroglio over the small car project at Singur was the main impediment to industrialisation in West Bengal.

'' Bandhs are no problem in the industrial scenario in West Bengal. It is the uncertainty over the Nano project posing problem, '' he told reporters after participating in an interactive session with the members of Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Describing the small car project as 'very important', the CPI(M) leader said it would give a fillip to further industrialisation in the state and any problem over its execution must be overcome.

He, however, hoped the problem would be sorted out through discussion, which had already started.

Mr Yechury's comment came a day after the state was immobilised by a 24-hour countrywide strike by Left trade unions and the first meeting between the state Government and the Opposition Trinamool Congress failed to sort out the problem arising out of the demand for giving back 400 acre of the acquired land at Singur to farmers.

Following an invitation from the state Government, Trinamool leader and Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee held dialogues with Industry Minister Nirupam Sen at a meeting yesterday, but made it clear that the party would go ahead with its agitational programme against land acquisition at Singur unless its demand was met.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was also present at the meeting, appealed to the Trinamool Congress to defer its proposed dharna near the small car site from August 24.

Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had been alleging that about 400 out of the total 950 acre of the small car land had been acquired by the Government against the will of the farmers.

She also claimed that only 650 acre of land was adequate for setting up the car factory, while the ancillary units, proposed to be set up on an area of 350 acres, could be relocated elsewhere.

However, the state Government had already said returning a portion of the acquired land was not possible as it would leave the site fragmented and put an end to the ambitious project.

While about 70 per cent of the Nano project was complete and the first Rs one-lakh car was set to roll out in the third quarter of this fiscal, the political threat galvanised the Government to strive for a rapprochement with Ms Banerjee.

Even though a breakthrough to the problem continued to elude, both sides did not rule out holding further talks.

UNI KDG SJC DB1808

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