West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today offered some 1,000 acres of government land at Goaltore in West Medinipur for setting industries even as she returned land documents and cheques to Singur farmers following a Supreme Court order on August 31.
"We are not against the setting up of industries in Bengal, but our point is that no forceful land acquisition for the same, " Ms Banerjee said after distributing parchas (land documents) and cheques to the farmers.
In the first phase, 9,117 parchas (land documents) have been prepared and cheques of 806 farmers have been drafted for the distribution for the day.
The Supreme court in an order on August 31 quashed the CPI (M)-led Left Front government's land acquisition of 997 acres of agricultural land for Tata Motors 'Nano' "small car" plant in Singur.
"I appeal to the industrialists including Tata please come we have 1,000 acres of government land at Goaltore for manufacturing industries. Think even for a month for such offer as we are not against setting up industries " Ms Banerjee said adding "we have even land in Howrah district."
She said the investors can contact either state finance minister or state chief secretary for the Goaltore land.
"Industry and agriculture is brother and sister but we are not for forceful acquisition of agricultural land," Ms Banrerjee reiterated. " I have no reservation against any individual or Tata Motors and now offer them to come and set up industries, including auto."
She said, the land acquisition for Tata Motors for 1,000 acres of land was perhaps done in haste without consultation of the farmers, who owned the land.
Ms Banerjee said the return of land to Singur farmers was historic since " We have been committed to them for the return of the land."
She said the government would borne all the expenses to convert the land cultivable and till then the farmers would get Rs 2,000 and rice at price of Rs 2 per kilo.
She also said each and every farmer would get Rs 10,000 at one time for purchasing gears of farming. Besides, arrangements would be made for loan upto Rs 24 lakh.
Ms Banerjee said the farmers of Singur would decide what they would do after getting their land return.
She said, in next eight weeks the return of land to the farmers, although the apex court said the process should be completed in 12 weeks.
Ms Banerjee also announced that in every September 14 "Singur Dwas" will be celebrated in memory of those, who sacrificed their lives for the land.
Narmada Bachao committee head Medha Patkar said it was history that the poor farmers won against the corporates because of Mamata Banerjee fought for them.UNI PC AKM PR RJ BD1901
-- (UNI) -- C-1-DL0213-933512.Xml