West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said as much as 846 acres of the 997.11 acres of land acquired by Tata Motors for a small car project at Singur in Hooghly district had been returned to the farmers after dismantling the factory shed on it. “Of the remaining land, there is a dispute regarding about 71 acres. Either there is no existence of it or some fake people had taken money against it. If the genuine claimants come forward to take it back, the administration will take steps accordingly,” she said after visiting the site.
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“Nobody had claimed for the return of the land till the last day on which such claims were to be made, which was today,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said. The Supreme Court had, on August 31, ordered that the land acquired by Tata Motors in Singur be returned to the farmers within 12 weeks. The chief minister’s visit to Singur today was to thank the Hooghly district administration for completing the task within the stipulated time “against all odds”.
She also assured the government officials and others involved in executing the order during festival time that they would be “adequately compensated by way of holidays and other benefits”. On October 20, Banerjee had formally started the process of returning land by handing over the physical possession of 90 acres to 2,216 farmers. On that day, she had also symbolically commenced farming on the land by sprinkling mustard seeds on it.