TATA MOTORS is facing tough opposition from the Singur farmers (Singur is a village in West Bengal) where it wants to set up the manufacturing plant for the production of the world's cheapest car - TATA's 1 lakh car- TATA NANO. Singur farmers are not ready to give there land even after compensation of about Rs:8 lakh per acre of land and even more for farms which produce 3 crops/year, or which have plots nearer the main road and fields that have tubewells sunk in them. The issue has now taken a form of agitation and TATA is facing wrath of it. According to the The Times Of India TM people from Trinamol Congress have threatened TATA officials and people who work in a small plant set up there to physically prevent from entering plant, and according to the fresh news 5 hours back TATA has decided to move out its 800 employees out of singur plant.
The farmers complain about 2 things - first is about the low compensation and the second is about the lack of faith in getting the promised money from government - and from my point of view these are truely issues worth talking about! This is what one of the farmer Prasenjit Das in Khaserbheri village says "What use is cash to me? Putting money in the bank and earning interest is not enough, especially looking at the rising inflation. With land, my asset remains intact and what I earn from selling my produce is a bonus." Das has another argument to press his case: "Even if the government promises to give me a job, it fails to secure my children's future." - perfect! I agree with him! Why not...nice to see that villagers and farmers- heart of India are understanding the economic factors and inflation concepts.
The question is about the land spanning 997 acres of land, and farmers aren't sure whether government will give them the promised money or not. According to Hindu Business Line article on Nov 16th 2007 -> "The acquisition of the entire 895 acres of private land is virtually complete. Each of the landowners has given his consent to acquisition at prices which are much higher than the prevailing rates. We have already disbursed payments for 550 acres and the rest will be completed within this month," the State Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Nirupam Sen, told media persons.. So, today is 31st Aug, 2008 - it's been 9 months after this statement from Mr.Nirupam Sen and still the payments aren't in the hands of farmers..? If yes then they shouldn't be agitating and if no then the governemnt has to answer why farmers haven't been paid uptill now?
If TATA decides to withdraw now, they will suffer losses of about Rs:150 crore - and they need to withdraw as per the prevailing conditions in the Singur. While the West Bengal government gets ready to acquire close to 50,000 acres all over the state for a slew of SEZs, ports, roads and so on, it should be a good idea to look at this other side of the story.
This wraps up the complete story till now behind the fight for land, the business people on one side, farmers on others and government in between - who's to blame?? This is not only in Singur, this problem is in many parts of the country since the developments of SEZ's have starting gaining pace.. what's the solution...? Expres yourself in comments...
With Help From Sources: RediffNews, HinduBusinessLine, EconomicTimes.