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Singur record in sight

Calcutta, Aug. 30: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government is making sure Ratan Tata has no reason to complain about delays.

By September 27, the land department will hand over to the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation all the 1,013 acres Tata Motors needs at Singur in Hooghly district to put up its small-car plant. Any day after that, the corporation can transfer the land to the Tatas.

Abdur Rezzak Mollah’s land and land reforms department received the proposal from Tata Motors on July 21 and the process of acquisition was flagged off in two days.

Mollah said the pace of acquisition was an “all-India record”. He had earlier promised the process would be completed within three to six months. If the process is completed by September 27, it would have taken just two months.

Acquisition is being rushed through in the face of protests organised by Opposition Trinamul Congress.

By the end of the day today, the Hooghly district administration had received around 450 consent forms from farmers voluntarily handing over land measuring 303 acres.

Officials said the date for receiving consent forms was extended on August 28 following assurances from the local Krishak Sabha, the CPM farmers’ organisation, that it would persuade the owners to hand over land willingly.

“All consent counters at Singur will be kept open past August 31 right up to the date of announcing compensation,” land reforms commissioner Sukumar Das said.

The land department today issued notices declaring that the government would acquire six portions totalling 507.8 acres “in public interest”.

Farmers owning parts of these 507.8 acres have been given 10 days to submit their consent to the acquisition.

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