'Govt will provide all help to farmers willing to cultivate Singur land'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that the government is ready to provide all possible assistance to the farmers willing to do agricultural activities in Singur.
"We have done our best to encourage farmers to restart their agricultural activities. They gave been given farming equipment, seeds and fertilizers, apart from financial assistance to start farming. Some did farming while some have sold their land. But if anyone is willing, the government is committed to render all possible assistance," Banerjee said in response to a query raised by CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakraborty at the state Assembly.
She reiterated that the Singur farmers get 16 kg of rice per month at Rs 2 per kg, along with allowance of Rs 2,000 per month. "Whatever I had promised regarding Singur during the anti-land acquisition movement, I have fulfilled. The land belongs to the farmers and we cannot compel any of them to do agricultural activities. The choice of farming or non-farming is their own. Everyone has the right to decide whether to eat a fish from its head or its tail," the Chief Minister maintained. According to her, the state government has returned 955 acres out of 997 acres of the Singur Tata automobile project land to the farmers. "Cultivation has been carried out in 260 acres of land in 2018-19 and 792 farmers have carried out farming," Banerjee said. The farmers have produced paddy, wheat, sesame, jute, maize, potato etc. on the land. However, 41.21 acres of the land still remains unclaimed.
There were a total of 13,330 farmers who used be involved in farming activities at Singur, before the automobile factory was built there.
Responding to a poser on the cultivability of Singur land, Banerjee said that the land had become barren after remaining uncultivable for 10 years from 2006 to 2016.
"Before returning the land we had carried out a soil test. A detailed land demarcation was done before returning the land. If the land demarcation has been washed out because of rain, BLRO can always re-demarcate the lands," she added.
Meanwhile, the leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan alleged that many people have got money but have nothing do with farming and nor do they have any land in Singur.
In response, Banerjee said that the compensation was given on the basis of proper land survey. "It is not possible to take away government money like that," she added.