Mamata Hands Land ‘Parchas’ to Farmers, Sends Out Message to Tatas

Tata abandoned its plans for a factory in West Bengal in 2008 after Trinamool Congress led the Singur protests.

2 min read
Tata Motors suffered a setback after Supreme Court order to return Singur lands to farmers. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

In an attempt to compensate Tata Group’s losses in Singur, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday handed over land ‘parchas’ and cheques to the farmers even as she sent messages to firms saying any company willing to set up auto firm in the state is “welcome”.

Handing over parchas and cheques following a Supreme Court order, Banerjee, who had steered the massive agitation against the land acquisition for Tatas’ nano car factory in Singur in 2006, said, “We want industry but not through forcible (land) acquisition”. ‘Parcha’ is a document that establishes the ownership of a farmer over a piece of land in revenue records.

State finance minister Amit Mitra has said that an alternative for the Singur land is “ready”, reported The Indian Express. The Mamata Banerjee government is offering land options in Goaltore, Purulia, Bardhaman and Kharagpur.

Mitra has said that land bank and a land map are ready, according to the report.

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.
Amit Mitra, State Finance Minister, as reported by The Indian Express

While around 800 acres of land is available in Kharagpur, 700 acres is up for offer in Panagarh area of Bardhaman. Mitra has also said that Tata Steel or Tata Metaliks can set up an industry in the state. He said, “It is not obligatory that Tata Motors has to do business there.”

Tata Motors has already written off Rs 309 crore for Singur and in a petition before the Calcutta High Court in 2011, its losses were said to be around Rs 1,400 crore.

Incidentally, it was the Singur agitation that marked the run-up to the end of 34 years of Left Front rule in the state. In that sense it holds a special significance in West Bengal’s political equations.

Banerjee will today hold a “victory” rally in Singur today to celebrate the Supreme Court order that cancelled the Singur land acquisition. Recently, during her visit to Munich, Mamata Banerjee reached out to the executives of Tata Metaliks and Tata Steel India, urging the group to “forget” one piece of land, while others are available.

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