West Bengal (WB) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will, on Sept. 14, distribute 800 cheques along with 9,117 land records to the Singur farmers as compensation for their loss of land. The CM had earlier stated that the state government would abide "line by line" by the Supreme Court's order that had cancelled the Singur land acquisition by the former state government.
She will also visit Singur to hold a public meeting on Wednesday. A rally will be held in Singur to celebrate the "victory of the farmers."
The WB government has been conducting land survey of the project area using drones and GPS satellite mapping, IANS reported..
"We will complete the land survey for about 620 acres in the project area by tomorrow (Tuesday). We are ready with 800 cheques to be handed over to farmers on Wednesday. About 9,117 land records will also be distributed to them," Banerjee said following a high-level meeting.
"We have taken the Supreme Court verdict sportingly and waited for 11 days for others to pull down their structure. I hope the others too will accept the order and take it sportingly," the CM told the media, hinting at the need for Tata Motors to shift all their materials before the factory shed is bulldozed.
Banerjee added that the farmers will be provided a package to make their land cultivable.
Farmers are reportedly being given their land back on the basis of the prices set in 2006 — the year it was acquired by the previous government to set up a Tata Nano factory.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) September 14, 2016
Meanwhile, Banerjee is willing to offer land to the Tata Group to set up an industrial hub in an attempt to compensate for losses incurred by the company due to the Singur controversy.
"We have a land bank and a land map. We can also give 1,000 acres in Goaltore in West Midnapore. In Raghunathpur in Purulia, 2,600 acres of land is ready. We had kept the land for a railway corridor, but we have also kept 600 acres of land for industry separately. If Tata is serious, we can talk about it and the area can be prepared as an industrial hub," WB Finance Minister Amit Mitra was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.
An official said that the Trinamool Congress Party government is not in a position to pay the compensation in cash but is keen to give land to the Tatas, along with several business-friendly measures.
The company wrote off Rs. 309 crore for Singur and said in a petition before the Kolkata High Court in 2011 that its losses have been estimated to be around Rs. 1,400 crore.
The Managing Director of Tata Metaliks Limited, Sanjiv Paul, said in Munich that they would like to do business in Bengal and that no political controversy was "relevant" when it came to investment in the state.
The dispute between the West Bengal government and Tata Motors over the Tata Nano car factory, which was supposed to be set up in Singur in 2006, has been going on for five years.
The state government, then led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had allotted around 1,000 acres to Tata Motors to set up the factory. However, the project was shelved following protests by aggrieved farmers, activists and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC.
Banerjee had also gone on a 26-day hunger strike to protest against the land acquisition. The compensation offered to the displaced farmers by the Tatas were apparently inadequate, taking into account the big promises made by them.
Banerjee had passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to take over the land given to the Tatas by the previous government soon after coming to power.
Tata Motors moved the Kolkata HC challenging the law, following which the acquisition was upheld by the trial court and the act passed by the Banerjee government was declared unconstitutional on appeal. The matter was then taken to the apex court, which directed that the land be returned to the farmers.