Tata welcomes Govt new offer for land losers at Singur

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Kolkata, Sep 14 (UNI) Tata Motors today supported the West Bengal Government's rehabilitation package for the Singur land losers and hoped that the initiative would help restore a congenial atmosphere for sustained industrial operations in the area.

"Tata Motors appreciates and supports the recent initiatives of the Government of West Bengal for the residents of Singur area where it had acquired land for Tata Motors Nano project," a statement issued by the company said.

"Tata Motors hopes that these initiatives will evoke a positive response from the residents of Singur and that all stakeholders will contribute to create a congenial environment conducive to the long-term sustained operations of an industrial enterprise,'' it said.

The statement of the company, which has suspended work at Singur and announced its plan to relocate the small car project out of West Bengal, came following the notification of the state Government announcing its new compensation and rehabilitation package that sought to blunt Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's demand for return of 400 acres of land to the land losers.

The company reiterated that it decided to set up its Nano plant at Singur to play an active role in the re-industrialization of West Bengal and ''make a contribution to the economic development of the region, providing direct and indirect employment opportunities and participating in the overall community development''.

The Government has offered 70 acres from within the small car project area and promised a payout of extra 50 per cent of the compensation price to all land losers. The Government has also assured to arrange training and provide direct and indirect employment for one person from each of the affected families having no regular income and 300 days of wages for the affected agricultural labourers and bargadars.

The offer was first made by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee during a meeting with Ms Banerjee on September 12 which the Trinamool leader spurned outright, sticking to her demand that nothing less than returning land would make her relent.

Ms Banerjee announced suspension of an indefinite dharna near the Nano project on September eight, following a three-day marathon conciliatory meeting between the Government and the Trinamool-led opposition at the Raj Bhavan that agreed to appoint a committee to look into the possibility of providing maximum of the land for rehabilitation from within the project area and the rest from outside.

Even as the crisis that brewed over the Singur issue seemed to have been eased out with the intervention of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the problem refused to die. As Ms Banerjee refused to budge from her stand for 300 acres from within the project area and 100 acres from outside, the Tatas made it clear that nothing can be done to separate the vendor park for ancillary units from the mother plant and the Government could not also go above offering only 40 acres from within the walled area.

As Ms Banerjee refused to buy the 'last deal' that the Chief Minister offered, the Government found itself pushed to the end of the road and was apparently done with trying to placate Ms Banerjee any more.

Having the support of the all Left Front partners, the CPI(M) has also decided to hold a 'pro-industry' rally at Singur tomorrow, to be followed by a counter rally by Ms Banerjee the next day.

UNI KDG PC RN1917

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