Kolkata: Among several promises made during the run up to the Assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee government’s assurance to return 400 acres of land to the unwilling farmers of Singur saw the day of light on Thursday.

Bringing smiles on several faces in the town which became a symbol of ‘change’, the West Bengal government passed an Ordinance to withdraw the land allotted to Tatas for their dream car project.

West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan too cleared the ordinance the same day.

Mamata’s first major Cabinet decision after becoming the Chief Minister has pinned the hopes of all those who were waiting for the step. The promise that catapulted Mamata Banerjee into power became a reality after the passing of the Ordinance by the Governor. Now, the Ordinance will become a law after being ratified in the state Assembly.

While addressing the mediapersons, Mamata informed that while 400 acres of land will be returned t the farmers, Tatas will have the option to utilize the rest 600 acres for industrial purposes.

On being asked that Tatas had proposed to evacuate the land as compensation during Left Front government tenure, she replied that Bengal government has no issues with Tatas leaving the land as compensation. Even the state government is ready to pay them compensation, she said.

On the issue that how the 400 acres will be allocated to the farmers, Mamata said, “Suggestions will be invited from farmers and a Bill will be tabled in the assembly to make amendments in the Land Acquisition Policy.”

Notably, the land acquisition policy under which the lands were taken from the unwilling farmers has no clause about the procedure of returning acquired land.

Tata Motors refuse to respond

Claiming that they are completely unaware of any such Ordinance, Tata Motors on Thursday said that they have no information about the decision of the state government.

Company’s spokesperson said, “We are unaware of any such developments and any statement will be made after studying the Ordinance completely.”

In 2007, the Tatas started construction of a factory here to manufacture Nano car, but left in October 2008 after an agitation led by Mamata Banerjee in support of farmers who owned 400 of the total 997 acres of land acquired for the project, and had refused to accept compensation for the same.

JPN/Bureau