Singur residents request Bengal governor to get Nano backOctober 13th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 13 (IANS) Residents of Singur in West Bengal, where global auto major Tata Motors was constructing the factory to manufacture the world’s least expensive car Nano, met the state’s governor here Monday and urged him to request the auto major to resume work.”The meeting was good. He listened to us patiently and attentively and we talked for long. He told us that he will convey our demands to the state government,” Kushal Saha, 41, a resident of Beraberi in Singur supporting the Nano project, told IANS.
“After the Tatas pulled out of the project, the land taken for the Nano project is lying unused. Neither can it be used for agriculture nor can it be used for industrialisation. We want Tata Motors’ to come back and restart work,” Saha said.
The committee wants the government and the Tata Motors officials to talk to farmers opposed to the project and solve the vexed land acquisition issue that triggered sustained protests and forced the auto major to pull out of the state.
However, the governor advised them to meet state government officials to put forward their demands.
Pro-Nano Singur residents have formed an apolitical platform - the Nano Bachao Committee - representing people who had given their land willingly for the car project and those who were trained to get a job at the factory.
Tata Motors announced Oct 3 it was pulling out from troubled Singur and blamed the principal opposition party of the state, the Trinamool Congress, for the “painful” decision.
Trinamool had led the protests against acquisition of land from farmers unwilling to hand over their holdings.
The auto major’s decision came 32 days after it decided to suspend operations in the Singur factory fearing for security of its employees who were manhandled and threatened by Trinamool Congress-led protesters, who demanded the return of 400 acres out of the total area 997.11 acres taken for the project.
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Since its inception in May 2006, the project to roll out the Rs.100,000 ($2,250) car, encountered resistance from the Trinamool-led farmers protesting against the ‘illegal’ acquisition of farmland.
People from Singur, 40 km from here, came to the city in 50 buses and 30 cars and staged a rally on Rani Rashmoni Road in central Kolkata before 12 representatives went to meet Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
They had started a sit-in demonstration for an indefinite period near the factory site from Friday (Oct 10) demanding resumption of work on the Nano project.
“We will soon meet the state government and put forward our demands,” Singur resident Saha added.