Industry Minister defends govt role in land acquisition

Defending West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, his Industry Minister Nirupam Sen on Monday insisted that government intervention in acquisition of land was most essential in the interest of farmers.

Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 20:55 PM IST

Kolkata: Defending West Bengal Chief
Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, his Industry Minister
Nirupam Sen on Monday insisted that government intervention in
acquisition of land was most essential in the interest of
farmers.

Ruling out returning acquired land to the unwilling
farmers at Singur, Sen told reporters here "government
intervention in acquiring land is most essential in the
interest of farmers and the chief minister has rightly said
this."

"However, if any investor acquires land independently
to set up his unit, we will never interfere", Sen said at the
CPI(M) headquarters here.

To a question, whether the state government was
willing to return acquired land at Singur to the unwilling
farmers and hand over the rest of the plot to the railways for
its project as requested, Sen said "there is no law in the
country for returning acquired land."

Claiming that the ruling LF government has made
commandable progress in inustrialisation, Sen blamed the
"agitation by the opposition that stalled the progress to a
greater extent in recent times."

Citing instances, the senior CPI(M) leader claimed
that development of Haldia, including expansion of the HPL in
particular, had been stalled because of such agitation.

"In their tirade against the ruling Left Front, the
opposition in the state is virtually working against people,"
Sen said.

"This apart different central policies have put us in
an adverse situation hindering the smooth progress in
development," he said.

"(Nevertheless) Despite all opposition we have
acquired over 8,000 acres of land in different parts of the
state on consensus," Sen said.

Reiterating that the overall progress of
industrialisation in Bengal was good with an investment of
about Rs 35,500 crore for last six years for setting up 1303
big and medium units, Sen said development was equally good in
micro and small sectors.

In power sector alone, there was an investment of Rs
26,000 crore in last five years, while exports in IT sector
has escalated from Rs 2,700 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 6,500 crore
at present.

Expressing confidence that the 8th Left Front
government will come up after the front`s win in this crucial
poll, Sen said the progress will be carried forward and the
government will continue work on peace, democracy and
development planks.

PTI