Between the political tussle between the CPM and Trinomool Congress, Ratan Tata’s dream car faces a bleak future, at least in West Bengal. The disputed land in Singur hasÂ managed toÂ attract enough global attentionÂ thanks to Mamata Banerjee and her histrionics.
Now with the indefinite strike becoming a reality, the Tata’s have decided to sound the alarm bells. Ratan Tata has very clearly said that they were not bound to stay in the state just because an investment of Rs.1500 crores has been made. But despite these remarks, Mamata Banerjee has not budged from her demand of 400 acres of fertile land be given back to the farmers.
The main issue here is that the West Bengal government was eager to trap Tata and thus acquired land forcefully or with consent of the farmers. But it seemed that out of the 1000 acres given to the Nano project, 400 acres were not given up willingly by the farmers to the government.
Now when Mamata Banerjee wants the land back for the farmers, the Tata’s find it absurd. These 400 acres are not contiguous and hence would hamper project plan if given away. It would also not leave place for the ancillary units that are very much a part of the Nano project. This is the basic dispute.
First Tapashi Mallick and now 10 others have been killed in Singur but the situation still remains unresolved. What I feel is that the government has been really irresponsible when it came to land acquisition and rehabilitation of the farmers.
If proper compensation had been given to the farmers then the situation would have been different. Even if Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee would have been careful when he chose the land, matters would not have beenÂ so volatileÂ perhaps. Right now the solution to this problem seems to be elusive.
Bengal and the rest of the world is waiting to see the outcome of this political game and hope that Tata will stay on to put up a functional plant in Singur.