Not possible to return 400 acres to Singur farmers: Buddhadeb

August 26th, 2008 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 26 (IANS) The West Bengal government Tuesday said it was not possible to accede to the Trinamool Congress’ demand to return 400 acres of land taken from unwilling farmers for the Tata Motors’ Nano project in Singur.”It’s not possible to give back 400 acres. It means we have to drop the project. I can’t afford to roll back the project. It’s too important for the state,” Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said at an interaction with representatives of the Associated Chambers of Commerce here.

Asked about his government’s stand on the indefinite siege by Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and other opposition parties before the Tata Motors’ plant in Hooghly district’s Singur area, Bhattacharjee said: “I’m trying to make the opposition parties understand that the automobile company and its ancillary industries should be in a continuous piece of land. Otherwise it will not be viable”.

Discussing the huge traffic snarl on National Highway-2 because of the agitation on the Durgapur Expressway, Bhattacharjee said he was trying to make the opposition see reason.

“I have requested the opposition Tuesday morning to open one flank of the road. I’m yet to get a reply”.

The Trinamool-led Krishijami Jiban Jibika Raksha Committee (KJJRC), which has opposed the takeover of farmland for the Tata project, has been on an indefinite protest at the Nano factory site since Sunday.

The protesters are demanding the return of 400 acres of land which they allege was forcibly taken from “unwilling farmers” to build ancillary industries adjacent to the Tata Motors’ main plant.

A total of 997.11 acres was acquired for the project, of which 691.66 acres belonged to farmers who gave their land willingly.

Nano, the world’s cheapest car priced at Rs.100,000, is set to roll out in October.

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