Mamata firm on return of Singur land to farmers (Lead)

August 19th, 2008 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 19 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who met chambers of commerce representatives here Tuesday, remained firm on her demand that the West Bengal government has to return to farmers the 400-acre excess land in the Tata Motors’ small car factory site in Singur.Banerjee said: “We want the Tata Motors factory to take place in Singur. But the 400 acres land that they have acquired for their vested interest should be returned to the unwilling farmers.”

Tata Motors would require only 600-650 acres of the entire 997.11 acres that have been acquired for the car factory, she said.

The company has planned to construct ancilliary industries over the land with the small car plant.

Banerjee suggested that these factories could be constructed somewhere else rather than adjacent to the factory.

She said she has received a letter from the Tata Motors, but she did not disclose any details about it.

Tata Motors kickstarted its factory project for building its small car, Nano, in Singur - 40 km from Kolkata - two years back.

Nano, a 623 cc car with a 33 horsepower multipoint fuel injection petrol engine, was unveiled at Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi Jan 10. The company said it would initially produce about 250,000 Nanos and it expects an eventual annual demand of one million cars a year.

Regarding the continuous political tussle between the ruling Left Front government and the opposition Trinamool Congress on land acquisition issue in Singur, she said: “There must be a political solution than political pollution.”

Responding to Banerjee’s comment, the Confederation of Indian Industry deputy chairman Sandipan Chakravortty said: “If the ancillary industries are moved somewhere else it will add to the cost of production of the small cars as these ancillary industries will produce and provide various parts of the small cars. Then it will not be viable to sell the car at Rs.1 lakh (Rs.100,000).”

Chakraborty confirmed that the small car would come out in October.

“It is a positive side that the opposition leader has met us today (Tuesday),” he added.

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