After Mamata Banerjee spurned ‘the great compensation package’ offered by Chief Minister (CM) Budhhadeb Bhattacharya to the land loser farmers of Singur, all the options seems to have exhausted now to resolve Tata Nano crisis. With no alternative in sight, all Left Front partners, in a show of solidarity at a meeting on 13th Sept’08 decided unanimously, to hit the streets as a tit-for tat measure, amid reports of possible withdrawal by Tata Motors from Nano project.
The new package offered by the CM at the second round of talks held with Mamata Banerjee on 12th Sept’08 is as follows: –
v 67 acres will be distributed to land losers, up from 40 acres, to rehabilitate them (residentially).
v Additional 50% compensation to land losers, which would translate into an amount of Rs.4 to 6 lakhs ($10000 to $15000) per acres of land taken from farmers.
v Wages of 300 days straight away to the agricultural laborers (who use to work at those farm land) at one go which means an additional amount of Rs.24000/- ($600) over and above 25% compensation given to them. They would also be eligible for extra 50% compensation like the land losers.
v The state government will provide government/indirect employment to a member each from the land loser’s family, within one year of the commissioning of the Tata project.
v Such members would enjoy a special category status in employment exchange and would be given preferential treatment for filling up vacancies in ancillary units.
v All surrounding villages will get roads, hospitals, schools and colleges that will be funded by the government.
At a two hour second round meeting (after the first round three day meeting held with Governor Mr.Gandhi presiding), the CM had even held the hand of Mamata Banerjee and said, “ Mamata Debi, I am requesting you to let us go forward on this one project. I am giving you words that henceforth we would consult you on every project that is conceived in Bengal.”
But these polite and emotional words from the CM cut no ice with Mamata who retorted, “I have certain principles as well like you.” She was adamant to get 300 acres from within the Tata Nano Project, which meant removal of Vendor Park (for ancillary units) to some other site.
Tata Motors have already made it clear that Vendor Park is integral to the Mother Plant and cannot be shifted or the project has to be closed down.
Under the circumstances, the Left Front led by CPI(M) has decided to go to the ‘peoples court’ with its top leaders set to attend a mass rally in Singur on 15th Sept’08 to be addressed by the CM and other leaders of the Left Front partners. A similar campaign will be lunched across the state.
The CM and a section of media termed the package as the best ever in India offered to farmers by any state.
Mamata too said, “ We can not sit idle if the CPM holds rally in Singur.” Trinomul Congress (Mamata’s party) is likely to hold a mass rally at Singur on 16th Sept’08.
Tata Motors welcomed the great package and hoped that this would create a congenial atmosphere to resume construction work at Singur. However they made it clear the actual work resumption would start only after we are sure that once the work started it would not be interrupted in any way.