Buddhadeb urges opposition to withdraw Singur protest

September 21st, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 21 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday appealed to all opposition parties in the state, who are demanding the return of 400 acres of land to farmers, to withdraw their protest against the Tata Motors’ Nano project at Singur.”I urge all opposition parties to come forward and accept the new compensation package announced by the state government for Singur land losers. I also ask them to withdraw their protest against the Tata Motors small car project,” Bhattacharjee said in a statement.

“If this stalemate continues further, the project would go out of our state,” the chief minister added.

Requesting the opposition parties to arrive at a political consensus, Bhattacharjee said: “The opposition should also think about the interests of our future generations as well as the economic interests of the state.”

The state government had earlier announced a six-point package, advertised in newspapers Sep 14, which offered 70 acres from within the project area for families affected by the project.

The compensation package also provides additional cash compensation of 50 percent of the price originally offered for the land acquired.

In the case of absentee landlords, the compensation has been offered to the sharecroppers registered for that particular plot, while unregistered sharecroppers and agricultural labourers get wages for 300 days.

The government also committed to arrange training and “endeavour to provide direct or indirect employment for one person per project-affected family having no regular employment or income”.

According to the notice, community development schemes would also be taken up in the “project-affected” villages.

Tata Motors began constructing the Singur factory two years ago to launch the Nano, the world’s cheapest car at Rs.100,000. The company has invested Rs.15 billion in the project so far, company officials said.

But the project faced stiff resistance from the opposition Trinamool Congress, which protested against the “forcible” farmland acquisition for the project.

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