Announces Rs. 1,000 a month to families of unwilling farmers till court settles matter

Stating that the only disappointment during the first year of her governance was the inability to return the land of unwilling farmers in Singur, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced here on Saturday a monthly payment of Rs. 1000 to them till the matter was settled in court.

“This is my biggest disappointment. We have been able to acquire the land but could not return it to unwilling farmers. These families are living in distress since 2006,” Ms. Banerjee said at an event organised to mark one year of the Trinamool Congress-led government in the State.

She announced that the families of unwilling farmers and agricultural workers would be given a pension of Rs. 1,000 a month and also be given food grains at Rs. two a kilo.

Stating that on her first day in office, she had announced the return of 400 acres to unwilling farmers from the land acquired for the Tata Motors small car project in Singur, Ms. Banerjee said the land would be returned to the farmers after the court judgment.

Matter before HC

The matter is before a division bench of the Calcutta High Court after Tata Motors challenged an order of the High Court which upheld the constitutionality of Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, by which West Bengal government vested the land leased to the company at Singur.

Claiming that except a few odd areas where some more work was left undone, Ms. Banerjee said her government had fulfilled all commitments made to the people.

Lists achievements

Listing the achievements of her government, she said that policy decisions had been taken on major issues and in the next four years, her government would implement those policy decisions.

Governor M.K. Narayanan described the enactment of the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 as one of the three significant milestones of the State government.

He flagged the peace in the Darjeeling hills and significant drop in violence in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region of the State as the two other successes of the government.

Mr. Narayanan said the State was witnessing a new awakening.