`Govt to return 400 acres to Singur farmers`

Tatas can set up the factory on 600 acres, WB CM Mamata Banerjee said after her 1st cabinet meet.

Updated: May 20, 2011, 23:17 PM IST

Kolkata: In her first major policy
decision, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday
announced that her government would return 400 acres from the
abandoned Tata Motors plant at Singur to farmers who
unwillingly parted with their land.

"The first decision taken in the cabinet is return of
400 acres from the abandoned Tata Motors plant in Singur. If
the Tatas are willing, they can set up the factory on 600
acres," she said at her maiden press conference after holding
the first cabinet meeting at Writers` Buildings.

To a query whether she would make the agreement
between the Tatas and the previous Left Front government
public, she said, "We have asked for a copy of the agreement.

The agreement will be made public. I believe in transparency."

When pointed out that the land was with the Tatas on
lease and how leased land could be returned, Banerjee retorted
"You do not have to worry. The government will act as per
law."

Asked whether the Tatas would be invited to invest in
West Bengal, she said, "I wish that they invest in the state."
Sought a reaction, a Tata Motors spokesman said "no
comment".

Following the pull-out of the Nano project from Singur
because of agitation by the Trinamool Congress, the Tatas had
shifted the mother plant to Sanand in Gujarat in October 2008.

Subsequently, the company continued to hold the land
by paying the yearly lease rentals.

PTI