Over half Singur land handed back to farmers

Kolkata, Nov 5 (IANS) The West Bengal government has so far handed over physical possession of 508 acres of land to farmers of Singur in Hooghly district after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee kicked off the process on October 20, an official said on Saturday.

Of the 997.11 acres acquired for the Nano project by the erstwhile Left Front government, Banerjee had claimed that 932 acres of land was made cultivable, while work was going on to develop the remaining 65 acres.

“The process of giving physical possession of land has been going at a satisfactory pace. So far, we have handed over physical possession of 508 acres of land to farmers,” Hooghly’s Additional District Magistrate (LR) Purnendu Maji told IANS.

Banerjee, who had spearheaded the anti-land acquisition protests from 2006-2008 as the supremo of Trinamool Congress, commenced cultivation in a symbolic gesture by sowing a mustard seed in October.

“Ongoing process of giving physical possession to farmers is expected to be completed by November 10. Sheds and materials of car factory have already been removed. The state government will hold an auction to sell these materials,” Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a lawmaker from Singur, told IANS.

A division bench of Justices Arun Mishra and V. Gopala Gowda of the Supreme Court on August 31, directed that the land be returned to the farmers of Singur within 12 weeks. The court-stipulated time-frame will expire by November-end.

The government gave land documents to majority of farmers, he said.