Mamata Banerjee highlights lacunae in Singur land

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Kolkata, Dec 13 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has highlighted lacunae in the West Bengal Government's offer of the Singur land to the railways for a proposed coach factory.

Addressing the media here, Banerjee pointed out the state government cannot solicit proposals for the land when the land was actually owned by the Tatas.

She also said that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had handed over the land to Tata Motors under contract and it was upto the latter to solicit proposals for the land if needed.

"The government can call for a visit only if it owns the land. I will visit only if I have the right. There is a government-to-government system. Now the possession is with them (Tata)," she said.

Throwing the Singur ball back into the state government's court Banerjee said the Chief Minister had himself told the state Assembly that Tata Motors have leased the land so now the government cannot try to sell or seek proposals for projects on the same land.

"They have to call for a visit. Then my government people can go. Here someone else (state government) is trying to sell land on behalf of some other owner," Banerjee added.

She also demanded make the ownership issue clear and then procedure on government to government basis should be initiated before her ministry would consider making a proposal for the Singur land.

"First let me know if the land is yours. You have handed it over under contract to another party. Even in the Assembly you have said that as far as I know. Its not going to be easy," Banerjee said.

It may be recalled here that after Tata Motors moved its project out of Singur, Banerjee had declared at several public meetings in Singur, as well as outside it, that the Railways would be willing to set up a coach factory on the land, if the government handed over the land.

From her statement today, its obvious that the minister, caught in her own trap, is now trying to mire the matter in nitty gritties.

The State Government and Ratan Tata have already publicly made a statement earlier that if another worthwhile project came up for Singur, Tata Motors would be willing to hand over the Singur land against proper compensation. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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