Trinamool to submit separate report on Nano issue

September 15th, 2008 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 15 (IANS) Incensed over the West Bengal government’s decision Saturday to cancel a meeting of the four-member committee looking into the contentious Nano land acquisition issue, the two Trinamool Congress members on the panel have decided to file a separate report on their findings.”When we went for the meeting at the WBIDC (West Bengal Industrial Development Corp) office Saturday, we were told the meeting will not be held. Since then we don’t know what is happening,” Trinamool leader Becharam Manna said here Monday.

Manna said he and Singur legislator Rabindranath Bhattacharjya would file a separate report to the governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi after he returns to the city Sep 19.

“We will submit our report to him. After all, the committee had been formed as per an agreement signed in the presence of the governor,” Manna told IANS.

Asked whether the committee has been wound up, he said: “The government can’t do that. Only the governor has the right.”

WBIDC managing director Subrata Gupta and Hooghly district magistrate Neelam Meena are the two government representatives in the panel that was asked to identify surplus land in the Nano small car project area in Singur for rehabilitating farmers who have not taken compensation for the land acquired from them.

The two Trinamool members had earlier claimed to have identified 300 acres in the project area where the said landlosers could be rehabilitated.

But the state government said late last week that it could only find 70 acres of spare land within the project zone, and came up with an alternate compensation package for the affected families.

The panel was formed as per an agreement signed Sep 7 reached after a series of talks between the state government and the opposition at Gandhi’s initiative.

A Trinamool Congress-led farmers’ organisation, describing the acquisition of farmland for the project as ‘forcible’, has been holding protests ever since Tata Motors started work two years ago.

The movement culminated in a siege at the Nano factory site from Aug 24, which was lifted after the Sep 7 accord.

The farmers’ group has demanded the return of 400 acres taken from farmers unwilling to part with their holding. The land was taken for ancillary units adjacent to the mother factory.

A total of 997.11 acres was acquired for the project that is slated to roll out the world’s least expensive car Nano, priced at Rs.100,000 ($2,250).

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