Almost 10 months after pulling out of Singur, Ratan Tata has declared that he is ready to vacate the 997 acres of the aborted Nano plant, provided he is compensated for his investment.
“We do not wish to sit on the land. We will give it back if the state compensates us,” said Tata when asked about Tata Motors’ plans with the land of the aborted car project. However, he didn’t comment on the quantum of compensation he was expecting.
Last October, before pulling out Tata had said they had sunk about Rs 1,500 crore for the project.
As soon as Tata’s comment spread, Trinamool Congress leaders raised their claim of the land being returned to the government and the unwilling farmers. “Let them first return 400 acres that belong to unwilling farmers, then they can do whatever they like with the rest,” said Trinamool Parliamentary Party chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyay.
Mamata Banerjee had launched a strident campaign in Singur in 2008 against acquisition of land from farmers, which eventually forced Tata Motors to vacate the site and relocate to Sanand in Gujarat.
Tata, who had come to attend Tata Tea’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, said Bengal “still remains in our heart,” and added that his company has no intention of being an impediment to the overall development of the state.
To another query if Tata would meet Banerjee, given her keenness to do something in Singur, Tata said: “Why should I meet her? The land doesn’t belong to her.”