Light at last for Singur?

ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY | Updated on June 09, 2011 Published on June 09, 2011

The abandoned factory shed of Tata Motors dream car project at Singur. - Photo Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

LF10SINGUR1   -  Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Some farmers are still in doubt about the prospect of the land taken for the project at Singur. - Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The announcement of the return of the 400 acre from the project set off celebrations among the farmers of several villages around Singur. - Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The villages around the abandoned factory shed of Tata Motors dream car project at Singur are desperate for a socio-economic change. - Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

They fed each other sweets and smeared gulal in exultation after hearing the newly sworn-in West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, announce that they would get back 400 acres of the land acquired from them for Tata Motor's small car project at Singur.

These were the villagers who had vehemently protested against what they called forcible land acquisition by the previous government and were supported by the Krishi Jibon Jibika Bachao Committee — backed by the All India Trinamool Congress.

The State's new Industry Minister, Partha Chatterjee, declared that the Government would bring into the public domain documents related to the deal between Tata Motors and the previous government. A day later, however, he beat a retreat citing legal issues.

In the meantime, the Tata Group Chairman, Ratan Tata, sent a congratulatory letter to Mamata Banerjee on her party's electoral victory and received her thanks.

The Chief Minister verbally invited the Tata group to resurrect the small car project.

There is confusion among the people of Singur, as also in the rest of the State, as they wonder how the Government would go about the process of returning farmers' land, and whether the land would be cultivatable after whatever groundwork had been done for the car factory. The youth in Singur are still hopeful that their ‘Didi' will bring back the factory, and with it employment and economic growth.

The cavernous structure built by Tata Motors, only to be abandoned, stands a forlorn witness to a stillborn project.

Published on June 09, 2011
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