Singur protest proves fatal to truck drivers

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Singur/ Kolkata, Aug 26: The main Opposition party in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress has warned to continue its protests till its demand of returning the 400 acres of land to the farmers was met. "Our protest will continue further till the time the government returns the farmers their land which was forcefully acquired from them," said Madan Mitra, leader of the Trinamool Congress.

Meanwhile, the indefinite siege by the protesters in front of the Tata car plant choked the Durgapur Expressway on Monday, hampering vehicular movement on the entire highway. Trucks and buses have been stranded on the highway since Sunday, when the protest started.

The truck drivers who have been stranded on the highway for past 48 hours were a harried lot, as they lamented over the loss caused to them due to the blockade.

"There is no provision for food and water. Nobody is doing anything to help us out of this situation. This way all our goods would be spoilt and we would face heavy losses," said Prem Raj, a truck driver.

In a desperate attempt to not lose out on the opportunities that the car plant will bring to West Bengal, state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, extended an offer to Mamta, of resolving the issue amicably.

"In that letter I've categorically stated, I'm ready to discuss anything with you to solve the problem in Singur. For the interest of the state, we should come to a consensus. I still believe that Singur project will come up. Only point is that, opposition should also come out and join hands with us to implement this important project in our state," said Bhattacharjee.

For Tata Motors, trouble started after the Left Government took over farmland for the factory. The state offered compensation in return, but some villagers complained they did not receive their dues.

Others refused to obey the state and are declining compensation, many of them farmers with smaller land holdings.

In all, around 400 acres of alleged seized land are still being fiercely disputed out of about 1,000 acres acquired by the government.

Tata Motors head Ratan Tata has threatened to move the plant if violent protests continued, despite having invested 350 million dollar in the project.
Tata Motor's decision to move out of West Bengal has already been welcomed by some other states, which are willing to give it land for setting up the plant in their regions.


ANI

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