Singur twist: Farmers want Tata factory to stay

SINGUR: A day after Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata left it to the people of West Bengal to come clear whether they wanted him in West Bengal, farmers at large rallied behind the car factory in Singur, despite their hardship.

Even those who will be joining the Trinamool Congress stir on Sunday don’t want the Tatas to pull out. This is the general feeling among landlosers in Beraberi Purbapara and Gopalnagar Ghoshpara areas where many didn’t collect the compensation cheques.

“We are not against the car factory. We want our fertile land back,” marginal farmer Debaprasad Das said. He has one acre of land of which a part has been acquired. Debaprasad has been with Mamata Banerjee since then. Despite this, he wants the Tatas to stay in Singur.

Manik Das, a marginal farmer and member of the Trinamool-run zilla parishad, endorsed the view. He wanted the government to relocate the ancillary units and return the land to the farmers. “We welcome industry in Singur. This can be done by shifting the ancillaries somewhere else,” said Das.

But then, landowners in the area stand divided on this issue. Many of them are engaged with the 23 labour syndicates supplying materials to the Tata Motors. They don’t want any change of plan.

Even the day labourers from Dobandhi village, who have lost their sustainance from agriculture, see no reason why the Tatas should leave Singur. “We have been engaged in unloading of trucks and piling of sand inside the project area. We will lose our living if the Tatas decide to pack up,” said Akul Gharai, a land labourer.

“We are not aggrieved with the Tatas as such. We are hurt with the government that made promises which it didn’t keep. When the government started acquiring our land, we were told we will get jobs. It didn’t happen. Some of us joined as security guards, but are now out of job,” said Adhar Mati.

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