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Buddha admits to mistakes in Singur, Nandigram

He says more agricultural land will have to be acquired to industrialise West Bengal, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 01:07 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis

West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, while admitting that some administrative mistakes may have been committed at Singur and Nandigram, has said that some agricultural land would have to be acquired to usher industrialisation in the State.

The ruling Left front government in the State is facing staunch, and often violent protests, from villagers, its political opponents and even its allies over the two proposed projects at Singur and Nandigram.

At least six persons were killed at Nandigram in East Midnapore district during violent protests against the Haldia Development Authority’s notification to acquire fertile land for the project.

Bhattacharjee, talking to CNN-IBN, admitted that his government did commit ``mistakes’’ while acquiring land and promised that in future the administration would be more careful.

He added that the Government is being forced to acquire fertile land because the quantity of barren land is negligible. "If we have to go for industrialisation in the state we have to take a portion of the agricultural lands because in our state 62 per cent land is agricultural land and only one per cent is fallow land.

"Then you have to go for some agricultural land. We are trying as far as possible to avoid any high fertile lands. But we have to take agricultural land otherwise you cannot move," the chief minister said.

Commenting on Nandigram, Bhattcharjee said, "The government committed some mistakes at the administrative level-not consulting local people, villagers and panchayats. Therefore I have stopped it (the notification) and I am trying my best to normalise the situation. Then we will able to persuade the people."

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First Published: Jan 12, 2007 01:07 IST