The West Bengal government on Wednesday, said it was possible to set up industry in Singur if Trinamool Congress responded positively to the state housing minister Gautam Deb's offer to return 11 per cent of acquired land at Rajarhat township if the Mamata Banerjee-led party allowed the Tatas to set up their second small car unit at the site.
Industry minister Nirupam Sen said some land at Singur was lying with the state Industrial Development Corporation. Earlier, during talks on the issue, the chief minister had offered to return 100 acres to unwilling farmers out of 997 acres acquired for the car project, Sen said.
"But, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had not agreed to the proposal. Now, if she changes her mind, it is possible to set up industry there," Sen said.
Yesterday, Deb had challenged Banerjee to allow return of the small car project in return for which the state-run HIDCO would give back 11 per cent of the acquired land at Rajarhat township to land owners.
"She is demanding that 10 per cent of the developed land in Rajarhat township be returned to the farmers. We will return not 10, but 11 per cent land there, provided she agreed to the proposal in Singur," Deb had said.
Sen, speaking to reporters after a party meeting here, asked why Banerjee remained silent on the proposal. Tata Motors had left Singur in 2008 following stiff opposition by Trinamool which demanded that 400 acres of the acquired land should be returned to the farmers and that the factory should come up on the remaining 600 acres.
Yesterday, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee had lambasted the ruling CPI-M for trying to draw a comparison between Singur and Rajarhat township and claimed that the Left Front government was engaged in land grabbing.
Banerjee had earlier accused the state government of violating the agreement signed between the state government and Trinamool Congress in the presence of the-then governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi during the Singur agitation.
At a recent party rally at Rajarhat, she had alleged that thousands of acres of land were forcibly acquired by the HIDCO, of which Deb is the chairman, in the name of setting up industry and threatned to launch an agitation along the lines of Singur and Nandigram.