The farmers of Singur will get back the same plots that they had before the land was acquired for the Nano project, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday. Moreover, she assured the farmers that the government will return the land in a condition where they can start cultivation.
“The process of returning land land will begin as soon as the land survey is completed. Land survey will begin on Friday itself and will be over in two weeks,” said the chief minister at the state secretariat.
Announcing a bonanza for the “unwilling farmers” -- these were the agitators who stood by her for the past 10 years -- the chief minister said their compensation amount that is lying with the treasury will be paid to them as well.
One of the questions uppermost on the minds of the people, not only the farmers, was that the land may be unfit for cultivation as it was low lying and filled up by the government with fly ash, rubbish and sand. On some of the land concrete structures came up.
“The government will turn the part of the land that is no longer cultivable into a condition where agricultural work can be resumed,” said Mamata Banerjee. However, she did not elaborate how it could be done.
The chief minister convened an emergency meeting on Thursday to thrash out how it will implement the supreme court order.
Her announcement follows the verdict of the supreme court on Wednesday declaring the acquisition process in 2006 and illegal and directing the government to return the land to the farmers.
Moving at lightening speed the chief minister also said her government will issue on Thursday the notification for the process of returning the land.
The land survey will end in two weeks. The process of handing over the land will begin immediately after the survey is over. The chief minister assured that the handing over process will be completed within the 12 week deadline set by the apex court.
“We will follow the court order in letter and spirit,” remarked the chief minister.
As far the interests of the sharecroppers are concerned, the chief minister said, status quo will be followed according to the land records.