Bereft of options, govt to auction scrap from demolished Nano factory
In a bid to return all the plots to farmers in Singur within the stipulated time, the state government does not have any option other than auctioning the huge quantity of scrap iron which was removed while dismantling the structures built for the Tata’s Nano factory.
After bringing down the structures, the scrap iron rods, steel and aluminium sheets were dumped on a plot in Singur along the National Highway 2.
But the plots where they were dumped also have to be returned to its owners with 12 weeks to comply with the order of the Supreme Court.
Moreover, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had set October 8 as the deadline to complete the process of handing over of land to farmers.
Sources said that initially it was decided to keep the scrap in a government owned land in Hooghly which is itself under the custody of the District Magistrate and to wait till the Tata’s turn up to do whatever they wish with the scarp.
Accordingly, two plots have also been identified. But with almost completion of demolition of all the nine structures which were being constructed on around 71 acres of land in Singur with the purpose of setting up the factory, the district authorities have assessed that the two plots would
not be big enough to accommodate the entire scrap materials.
According to a source in Nabanna, the state government would have no other option other than going for auctioning of the scrap as the Tatas are yet to come up with any proposal.It is not that the scraps
will be given away at a throw away price. Instead, the base price will be finalised on the basis of the market rate.
It has not been decided that how the money generated by auctioning of the scrap will be utilised, but as per the plan it will be kept in safe custody as it was done with the money of the unwilling farmers, sources said.
The administrative building that was constructed for the project had concrete walls and no bricks were used.
Thus, a huge quantity of scrap iron rods and steel was removed when the building was pulled down.
At the same time the scrap iron was also dumped in the same place after dismantling the two power sub-stations.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to organise a small agricultural tools fair at Singur.
The Chief Minister had announced a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 for the farmers.
Around 1,000 “main” land owners in Singur having Kishan credit cards would be getting a cheque worth the same amount.
They have utilised the money to buy machineries from the fair. The same number of famers will be getting seeds and two types of fertilisers.
Two custom hiring centres would also come up in Singur from where farmers could hire heavy machineries for agriculture.
The fair would be organised by the West Bengal Agro-industries Corporation while the West Bengal State Seed Corporation would take care of the seed and fertiliser distribution among farmers in Singur.