Tata’s claim of waterlogged farmland deniedAugust 22nd, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Aug 22 (IANS) The farmers’ group that is opposing Tata’s Nano car project in Singur near here has said Ratan Tata’s claim that the contested land that was given to them for their plant was not cultivatable most of the year due to waterlogging was not true.Trinamool Congress-led Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee (Singur Save Farmland Committee) convenor Becharam Manna told IANS: “Those were all three-four crop farmlands. It was extremely fertile and till the Tatas acquired the land, every year they grew crops on it.”
He denied what Ratan Tata said and added 997.11 acre plot was not only fertile it had 28 mini deep tubewells also.
Speaking to press reporters after the annual general meeting of Tata Tea, Ratan Tata said land at Singur was not being used for cultivation for the past two years as farming was not possible because of waterlogging.
The company is building the much-heralded small car, Nano, factory on a plot of 997.11 acre at Singur, 40 km from Kolkata.
The project has been mired in controversy as farmers’ groups and the Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee have alleged that the state government “forcibly acquired” their fertile farmlands and gave it away to industry.
Protesters have often entered into scuffles with factory workers in the past. Last month an engineer of the construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji was roughed up by women protesters.