Mamata doubles Singur farmer allowance

Five days after the Calcutta high court ruled that the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, was unconstitutional and void, the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee doubled the allowance for the affected Singur farmers. They will now be paid Rs 2,000 per month from 1 July instead of of Rs 1,000 per month which they are being paid now.

At least 3,000 farmers and agricultural labourers of Singur will receive the new amount, which is applicable to those who had unwillingly parted with their land and not accepted compensation in 2006, when the Left Front government acquired about 1,000 acres of land for the Tata Nano plant. The state government will bear this expense till the land is returned to the farmers, said Banerjee at the state secretariat on Wednesday.

'The state government realises that it will be difficult to subsist on Rs 1,000 per month. So, the amount is being doubled and it will be effective from July 1,' Banerjee said. The farmers of Singur will also be able to buy two kilogrammes of rice at Rs 2 per kilogramme per week.

The high court judgement had triggered off a series of protests by farmers in the area on 22 June.

Also, at the Town Hall meeting convened by Banerjee in Kolkata on 23 June, participating stakeholders of the Singur land movement had suggested that the state government hike the monthly allowance. Also, it was decided that steps would be taken to monitor the situation in Singur and legal action would be taken to return the land to the farmers. 'On Saturday, a protest rally will be organised by the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad in the area. The students of Singur will also join the movement,' said Mahadeb Das, one of the farmers who had led the land agitation.
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