State govt to start returning lands to Singur farmers today
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had visited Singur on September 14 and distributed cheques to the unwilling farmers and documents (parchas) of the land to the farmers. From Wednesday, the government will start giving the physical possession of the lands to the farmers.
The documents of 750 acre of land have been prepared and by the weekend, the documents of another 100 acre of land will be ready. The state Education minister Partha Chatterjee visited Singur on Tuesday and supervised the work. The dismantling of the sheds of Tata Motors is going on in full swing under the supervision of the engineers of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). The roads constructed by the Tatas would be dug up and the entire area comprising 997 acre of land would be made into a cultivable one.
A high-level meeting was held in Nabanna on Tuesday afternoon. It was presided over by the state Agriculture minister Purnendu Basu. Senior officials of the state Agriculture, Irrigation and Waterways and Horticulture departments were present in the meeting. The state government is preparing comprehensive plans to make the land of Singur cultivable. Some experts from IIT Kharagpur and Bidhanchandra Krishshi Viswavidlaya went to the site and took samples of earth that was later examined. The teams will submit their reports to the state government so that future plans could be made. Preliminary reports suggest that a major part of the land could be made into cultivable one while extra measures will have to be taken to make some portion of the land cultivable. Banerjee had announced that the land would be returned to the farmers in cultivable condition and it was up to them to decide whether they would keep it or sell it.
The state government will install 56 electrically operated deep tube wells in Singur and four canals would be dug up. The erstwhile Left Front government after forcibly taking fertile land from the farmers, first disconnected power supply to the deep tubewells and then covered up the canals so that the farmers could not cultivate the land. The land slowly lost its fertility.
As Singur is called “the vegetable bowl” of Bengal, from early December the farmers would be given seed to grow “Palang” and “Note”. These two varieties grow fast and can be harvested within 26 to 30 days. This will make the land fertile and bring some money to the farmers.
The state government will start giving counselling to the farmers from Friday. Purnendu Basu would be present on the first day. The state government found that as the farmers had not cultivated the land for a decade, some questions about the quality of the land and its future had been hovering in their minds and these questions need to be answered. The state government will give special emphasis to tell the farmers about the present condition of the land and its future.