More than a year after Supreme Court ordered the return of 997.11 acres of land to Singur farmers that was acquired for the Tata car project , most of them are yet to revive farming, claiming it is not ready and not even demarcated. The apex court verdict was historic, vindicating Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s stand on the issue, which had triggered a prolonged agitation, Indian Express reported.
As per IE, officials of the state government said they have ensured that plots are cultivable, returning land deeds to around 12,000 people and providing seeds. They further claimed that plots were clearly demarcated four times but the farmers are not willing to return.
One of the officials even pointed to a sense of fear among residents of Singur that assistance provided by West Bengal government to more than 3,000 farmers — Rs 4,000 and 16 kg rice every month would not be continued if farming is resumed.
“You see that row of palm trees? I think my land may be there. But I don’t know. There may be snakes there now. The land is also full of concrete blocks, stones and other debris. My 5 bighas are yet to be demarcated. How will I farm there? Didi (Mamata Banerjee) should intervene,” said China Das, a resident of Khaserbheri told Indian Express.
When the Indian Express visited Singur, it found the area was facing NH-2 dotted with mounds of mangled iron beams, tin shades, iron rods and concrete blocks. Residents said these were remnants of structures erected during the setting up of the Nano plant.
It found that contractors were cutting through the debris, while small patches of land had marks of farming activity. In one of the patch, women were seen grazing cows and goats. Other patches had unused tube wells.
Residents of nearby areas Khaserbheri, Joymollah, Beraberi claim that their land was not yet ready for farming.
“Initially, demarcation pillars were placed. But during the process of levelling land, they were lost. The government will have to demarcate the plots once again. A lot of work is needed for us to start farming. There were lapses on the part of panchayat leaders and government officials. The Chief Minister must see the situation for herself,” said Mahadeb Das, a resident of Beraberi Purbapara told the paper further.