Mamata now wants to have rail coach factory in Singur (Lead)

November 13th, 2009 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Nov 13 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee now wants to build a rail coach factory jointly with the West Bengal government on the Singur plot abandoned by Tata Motors, but after returning the 400 acres to “unwilling” farmers.
“I feel a national project should come up on that land. If necessary, we can go for a joint venture with the state government too. We will set up the world’s biggest coach factory over there,” Banerjee told Star Ananda channel from Delhi.

Banerjee’s comments came a day after state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) officials visited the abandoned Tata Motors land in Singur, 40 km from here, to consider setting up a power generation plant.

The belt had turned into a battleground since May 2006 after the state’s Left Front government announced that the auto major would roll out Nano, the world’s cheapest car, priced at Rs.100,000 from there.

Opposition Trinamool-led protesters had then demanded return of 400 acres - of the 997.11 acres acquired - to farmers “unwilling to part with their land”. Finally, Tata Motors in October 2008 moved the small car plant to Sanand in Gujarat.

Banerjee clarified that her department would like to construct the coach factory after returning 400 acres to the farmers and the ancillaries to the coach factory would come up in Dankuni in Hooghly district.

“If they (state government) give us the land, we can proceed. We can build the ancillary industry in Dankuni and I can join the two places by a dedicated rail line,” she said.

Banerjee said she spoke to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee three to four months back about the coach factory. “He told me to go ahead.”

The Singur land in Hooghly district is still in possession of Tata Motors. Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata had earlier said if the state government pays compensation, the company was ready to return the land.

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