The survey by the West Bengal government of the 997 acres of land to be returned to farmers in Singur under a Supreme Court ruling continued on Saturday on war footing despite inclement weather, a district official said. The land had been acquired by the former Left Front government for the Tata Motors project.
The survey had begun on Friday after senior state officials and police entered the abandoned site filled with wild grass and overgrown bushes, after 10 years.
Satellite-based (GPS) mapping and drones carried out aerial survey as huge contingent of workers and employees from various departments were pressed into service for cleaning and preparing ground work for plotting of the land.
Additional District Magistrate Land Revenue (ADMLR) P Maji said, “We are working on a war footing. We are going to work even during night with floodlights. We will complete cleaning and the land survey will be finished in two weeks. There will be no slowdown of work despite inclement weather.”
The District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and officials of the state land acquisition department and agriculture department were present at the site.
State Education minister Partha Chatterjee paid a visit to the site and met the officials. He said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will visit Singur and hold a public meeting on September 14. “She is keeping a tab on the progress from Rome,” he said.
Asked if industries were completely ruled out at the site, Chatterjee said, “First, let us abide with court order in handing over the land. The Supreme Court order mandates that the physical possession of land should be given back to the farmers.
The Chief Minister had said that the order would be implemented in ‘letter and spirit’ and handing over of the possession of land to farmers will be completed in 12 weeks as directed by the apex court.
According to tentative estimates, half of the land can be used for agriculture immediately. But the rest of the land had seen development activities at different levels using various building materials, Maji said.