Gujarat farmers being harassed for Nano project: Lalu

October 16th, 2008 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath (Gujarat), Oct 16 (IANS) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Thursday offered land for Tata Motors Nano project in Bihar saying that farmers in Gujarat’s Sanand where the car is slated to roll out from were being “harassed”. “Sanand farmers are being harassed. If at all the project has to be in Gujarat it could have been at Dwarka. If you are really looking for land for the project come to Bihar,” Lalu Prasad said during his short 15 minute speech at the railway station here.

He disclosed that the railways planned to add 10,000 employees to the Railway Protection Force (RPF).

The minister was here to inagurate the five kilometre Veraval-Somnath broad gauge line and the Veraval-Jabalpur express train.

The Rs.300 million Veraval-Somnath line will facilitate pilgrims from all over India to reach the famous Somnath temple. Pilgrims had to spend Rs.60 to Rs.100 to reach the temple from the Veraval railway station that is just seven kilometres away by road.

The minister said he would propose a railway line from Diu to the temple town of Dwarka in the next budget.

On Wednesday evening, he had laid the foundation stone for a Rs.3.7 million footbridge at the Dwarka railway station.

“We will make Dwarka railway station a model station resembling the seven-storey temple at a cost of Rs.2 crore (Rs.20 million),” he promised the gathering.

The minister is in Gujarat with his wife, former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, his daughters Anusha and Laxmi and son Tejpratap. They have been visiting various temples in the area.

On Wednesday, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Gujarat high court challenging the decision to convert agricultural land in Sanand for industrial use to set up the Nano project. The PIL also demanded adequate compensation for the farmers.

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