If people of Singur want industry, they should tell Mamata: Bengal minister

Kolkata, Sep 8 (IANS) Raising fresh hopes of industry returning to Singur, from where Tata Motors had to shift its proposed Nano factory eight years back, a West Bengal minister on Thursday said industry would be set up in the rural pocket if the people there so desire.

Days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the power transmission and distribution tower set up in the area by the erstwhile Left Front government over 40 acres will be dismantled, Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said the transmission centre will be rebuilt in a nearby area.

“I have asked officers to carefully remove the machinery of the transmission towers. We have discussed with the Hooghly district administration about availability of land near the project area,” the minister said.

“The stations are reusable. We have to build power stations in the area… only the destination may change,” he said.

The minister said around Rs 80 to 85 crore was spent for building the power infrastructure. The LF government had set up the infrastructure to cater to the need of the then proposed factory and its ancillary units.

The plant and the towers had remained unused after Tata Motors shifted the factory to Sanand in Gujarat.

“If the people of Singur want industry and they tell the Chief Minister, industry will be set up here. It was for the people that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fought such a long battle,” Chatterjee said.

Now work is all at full steam to carry out a land survey after the Supreme Court on August 31 set aside the land acquisition by the Left Front regime and ordered to return the 997.11 acres of acquired land to the owners within 12 weeks.

Banerjee had undertaken a 26-day hunger strike in Kolkata in December 2006, against the “forcible land acquisition” in Singur, and demanding 400 acres taken from farmers unwilling to part with their land be returned to them.

She later travelled to the rural pocket and laid siege on the factory for 14 days in 2008.

On October 3, 2008, then Tata Sons’ chairman Ratan Tata announced the factory will be shifted out of Singur.

–IANS

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