The first meeting of the committee formed to work out a solution to the Singur land issue failed to make any headway on Tuesday, as the Trinamool Congress stuck to its demand for 300 acres within the Tatas’ project area.
A meeting between the Trinamool Congress and the West Bengal government at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Sunday decided that the committee would identify 300 acres of land to be returned to the unwilling landowners of Singur.
Industries minister Nirupam Sen told reporters that the project area would have to be kept intact, as the pact with the Tatas had mentioned specifically that the mother plant and the ancillaries could not be touched. He, however, said the meeting ended on a positive note.
Sen said Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant had written a letter to him expressing satisfaction at the clarifications provided by the state government.
The Tatas sought clarifications on Monday on the confusion after Sunday's agreement when Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee demanded a large chunk of land within the project area.
Quoting Sunday's agreement that “land will be provided to the maximum within the project area”, Mamata said: “I'm not bothered who is saying what. The committee will only work out the modalities. It is not authorised to take decision on its own.”
The committee held a three-and-a-half-hour meeting at the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) office on Tuesday. Explaining the terms set in the agreement with the Tatas, the committee members said they stated clearly that the government could not meet the demand for land inside the project area, as in that case, the Tatas would pull out from Singur.
They stuck to their stance of giving only 40 acres of WBIDC land inside the project area and a maximum of 50 acres outside the project to the unwilling landowners.
But Bhattacharjee and Manna, showing a map of the project and its adjoining area, demanded 300 acres inside the project area. Bhattacharjee later said, “The committee will visit the project site on Wednesday.”