Kolkata June 10: Chief Minister Mamata .Thursday passed an ordinance to reclaim 400 acres of the 997.11-acre land at the deserted Tata Motors’ site to return it to farmers “unwilling” to part with it. Ms. Banerjee called it a “historic day for Singur”.
Governor M K Narayanan has put his seal on the ‘Land Development Ordinance’ to take over 997 acres of the Singur land.
Yet again, a Ms. Banejee`s masterstroke has rejuvenated this controversy-ridden land when it seemed to have reached a dead end. Now, she has made it clear she intends to keep her word. The purpose of the ordinance is to return 400 acres to farmers who “unwillingly” parted with their land and leave the other 600 acres for industry.
Aware of the legal implications, Ms. Banejee said the government was ready to compensate the Tatas by way of arbitration. “The governor has signed the ordinance. Now, we can return 400 acres to unwilling farmers,” Mamata said at Writers’ Buildings. She stressed the land was “re-acquired” for public purpose and that would become apparent when the ordinance was made public.
The Chief Minister said: “We had to pass the ordinance because the assembly is not in session. The state cabinet has already approved the decision. When the Assembly starts (on June 24) we shall proceed with the Bill.” State Law Minister Moloy Ghatak said: “This ordinance is on the amendment of the Land Acquisition Act 1894. The amendment bill will be passed in the forthcoming assembly session.”
The ordinance amends Section 48 of the Act, introducing a new clause. It has three subsections. The first relates to the return of acquired land to the original owner. The second is for multiple claimants, for whom the plots will be identified through a survey. The third enables the government to provide alternative plots of equal size in the vicinity.