The State government has begun talks with the Tatas on the issue of returning the land at Singur taken by the group for locating its small car project, West Bengal Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborti has said.

Talking to reporters at the Secretariat on Saturday, he said formal talks had started. “Yes , we would like to have the land back since the purpose for which the land was given [setting up of the industrial project] has not been fulfilled,” he said.

The 997-acre land was acquired by the government on behalf of the Tatas and was leased out to Tata Motors.

It later shifted the project out of the State in October 2008 following violent protests led by the Trinamool Congress over what it described as forcible acquisition of farm land.

Compensation

Group chairman Ratan Tata has said the Tatas would not sit on the land in case it could be utilised for an alternative project.

However, he had said at a joint press conference with State Industry Minister Nirupam Sen that the group would like to be compensated for the money invested in Singur.

Mr. Chakraborti had said recently that as per his knowledge, no compensation bill had been received by the State government for returning the Singur land.