India: Farming begins again in Singur after 10 years

India's Supreme court quashed the allotment of land in August this year saying proper procedure had not been followed. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 20, 2016, 01.20 PM (IST)

Farming began again today after 10 years at Tata Motors’ demolished Nano car plant site in India’s Singur with the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sprinkling mustard seeds on the land.

In August this year, India's apex court had quashed the allotment of land by the former CPI(M)-led state government in India's eastern state of West Bengal to automobile giant Tata Motors 2006 ruling that proper procedures had not been followed while acquiring the land and that the acquisition was no longer valid.  

The controversial plant was shifted to the state of Gujarat in 2008 after protests by farmers and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress party that is currently ruling the state. 
The physical possession of 103 acres of land was given to 298 farmers within the 12-week deadline set by the division bench of justices Arun Mishra and V Gopala Gowda of the Supreme Court on August 31.

"Most of the portion of the Nano car shed has been razed to the ground. Only a small structure is left which will also be demolished in next few days," a senior state government official told PTI.

Banerjee, who had steered a massive agitation against the "forcible" acquisition of land in 2006, said, "Singur will be a model before the world and a monument will be constructed here", PTI reported.

"Except for 65 acres, the rest of the 997 acres of land is ready to be handed over to the farmers. By November 10, the process of giving physical possession of the entire land would be complete."

Banerjee spoke to the farmers and enquired about the condition of the land and the kind of crops they plan to harvest in days to come. She also handed over crop kits to some farmers.

Last month Banerjee had given 'parchas', documents establishing the ownership of a farmer over a piece of land in revenue records, and cheques to farmers in Singur.

(WION with inputs from PTI)