Railway plans for Singur land to go awry

It’s a double whammy for the West Bengal Chief Minister.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:June 23, 2012 1:00 am

It’s a double whammy for the West Bengal Chief Minister. The Calcutta High Court’s decision to strike down the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act,2011 also puts paid to Mamata Banerjee’s plans to build a railway factory on a portion of the contested land.

Banerjee had hoped to nullify the lease given to Tata Motors for its small car project by the earlier Left Front government through the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act,2011. But the Calcutta High Court’s decision to consider the Act as unconstitutional and void would now mean that the 997 km of land would be given back to the automaker.

Banerjee had just last month announced her intention to set up a Metro coach factory on 600 acres of Singur land as part of her agenda of industrialisation by setting up of 16 railway factories in the state. The factory,which was to be set up as a joint venture between state-run SAIL,the ministry of railways and the West Bengal government.

“We had already acquired the land in Singur. But the matter is sub-judice right now. But after we get the verdict we would like a factory to come upon the 600 acres and return the rest 400 acres to the unwilling farmers,” Banerjee had said last month at the inauguration of a diesel locomotive component factory in Dankuni.

Announcing big ticket plans for Singur after ‘much awaited justice’,the Chief Minister had said,“The rail wants to build a factory on 600 acres. Railways had officially proposed building a factory there. And the rest of the 400 acres will be given to the unwilling farmers.”

It was Banerjee in her avatar as Union Railways Minister who had announced setting up of a metro coach factory in Singur.

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