Four days for govt to trash Mamata claim

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By OUR BUREAU in Calcutta
  • Published 29.12.06

Calcutta, Dec. 29: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government will take four more days to publish the list of farmers who consented to land acquisition in Singur as it is simultaneously verifying the list submitted by Mamata Banerjee alleging the “forcible” acquisition of nearly 400 acres.

The government’s formal “consent list” will have an annexe, detailing the actual status of land that Trinamul said was “forcibly acquired”.

“We’ve given the six lists provided by them to the Hooghly district magistrate’s office for verification and actual status report. These will be published along with the common consent list. We’re trying to bring the list out by Tuesday,” commerce and industries secretary Sabyasachi Sen said this evening.

In his letter to the Trinamul Congress chief yesterday, the chief minister had pointed out that her information on forcible land acquisition was “not correct”, but added that the issue could be discussed later.

Wiser after the turmoil over the Tata project, the government is working on a strategy to provide employment to at least one person of each family whose land is acquired for the Salim Group projects.

“We’ve spoken to them (Salim Group) so that at least one member from every family whose land is acquired gets a job once the projects come up,” commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen told a gathering near Bhangar in South 24-Parganas, about 40 km from Calcutta, today.

Sen did not name the Indonesian conglomerate that will be given 260 acres in Bhangar for an expressway spanning the North and South 24-Parganas, an industrial hub, a health city, schools and colleges.

The government extended prohibitory orders under Section 144 for another 20 days in the Singur police station area today.

Mamata had given the governor six lists detailing plots in Beraberi, Khasherbheri, Bajemelia and Gopalnagar mouzas, where land had allegedly been taken away forcibly.

Commerce and industries department officials said the list — accounting for 1,880 plots held by 697 farmers — was “full of wrong information”.

“Some of the plots mentioned do not fall within the proposed Tata plant’s boundary at all. In case of many others, we have proof of consent given,” an official said.

According to officials, consent is yet to arrive for around 39 acres.

A formal lease agreement with Tata Motors would be signed in mid-January after the industries minister returns from a holiday in Australia. Sen is to leave for the fortnight’s family trip on January 3.