Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is making all efforts to fulfill her pre-election promise of returning the land allotted to Tata Motors in Singur back to the unwilling farmers, but her wish is unlikely to be realized soon.

Protesting the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011, which was passed in the West Bengal Assembly last week, the farmers who had willingly parted with their land for the Nano project and the vendors who were part of the Nano project are preparing to challenge the Bill in court.

The Bill seeks to revoke the agreement between Tata Motors and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), as well as the allotment made to the vendors. Though Tata Motors said it was studying the Bill and would take appropriate steps accordingly, legal options cannot be ruled out at this stage.

The bill does not provide for compensation to the vendors. In total, 54 vendors were involved in the Tata's Nano project at Singur who had invested Rs 170 crore collectively before the project was stalled after the controversy surrounding the land acquisition.

As per Tata Motors, they invested Rs 1,800 crore in the Nano factory which would have created over 10,000 jobs. The company said they will take an appropriate action after studying the Singur Bill.

The company has also objected to content of the Bill that mentions ‘non-commissioning and abandoning’ of the project by Tata Motors and goes on to state that “no employment generation and socio-economic development has taken place and people in and around the area have not benefited from the project in any manner”.

Tatas contend that all the equipments were placed and the trial of production had also begun. The basic infrastructure including company's buildings, sheds are still lying at the abandoned site that had come at a cost of Rs 440 crore.

If the project would have been given a go-ahead, the factory would initially employ 2,000 people and through associated industries would have provided employment to over 10,000 people, the company officials said.


(JPN/Bureau)