Singur committee begins survey at Tata Nano site

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Singur, Sep 10: Its been a bad dream for Tata Motors from last two weeks. Now, it is confirmed that land-transfer will happen. A panel appointed by Govt is in Singur on Wednesday, Sep 10 to assess what land can be returned to farmers. This is a big blow to Ratan Tata.

''We will conduct a thorough survey and submit our inferences to the government representatives. We will soon present our findings to the government and prove that the maximum amount of land can be returned to the unwilling farmers from within the project area,'' Singur MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who also heads the committee, told mediapersons.

''After completion of the survey work, the committee will continue threadbare discussions over the next few days. However, we will stick to our demand of returning the maximum land from within the project area,'' Mr Bhattacharya added.

''Land acquisition is not our job, it is the government's responsibility to provide land to the industrialists. We will ensure that the poor farmers get a fair deal and their land is not taken away forcibly,'' he reiterated.

The committee held its first meeting at Kolkata yesterday to identify land for rehabilitation of the Singur land losers.

Later, Mr Bhattacharya told reporters after the meeting that they had sought 300 acres of land from within the project area.

The four-member committee comprises Hooghly District Magistrate Neelam Meena and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) Managing Director Subrata Gupta as government representatives, while Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee convenor Becharam Manna, besides Mr Bhattacharya, are the Opposition representatives.

Meanwhile, the Tata Motors Ltd again cautioned the state government yesterday against going back on its commitment to keep intact the integrated nature of the Nano project at Singur comprising the mother plant and vendor park.

In a letter to the state government, Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant said the company had noted the clarification that the government would maintain the integrated nature of the auto cluster.

The MD's letter came in reply to Industry Minister Nirupam Sen's statement that sought to dispel the confusion of the company on the outcome of the conciliatory meeting between the government and the Trinamool Congress-led Opposition on Sunday.

''The discussions have been in a very friendly and positive atmosphere. The Trinamool representatives in the committee have raised their demands of returning maximum land from within the project area. We have put forward our arguments relating to technical problems in doing that. I am hopeful of a final positive outcome,'' the Industry Minister said.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee reiterated that the agreement with the state government was on providing maximum land from within the project area. ''This is a gentleman's agreement and no one can breach that,'' she said.


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