Full protection to Tatas: Buddhadeb

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Special Correspondent

"Singur project has people's support''

  • "This is definitely a public interest project"
  • Prohibitory orders to ensure law and order

    KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government will "do all that needs to be done" to ensure full protection to Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, and the management and workers of Tata Motors "to stay here and start work" on the car plant at Singur in Hooghly district, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Thursday.

    Mr. Bhattacharjee gave the assurance in the wake of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee's threat that a sustained agitation would be held if the company went ahead with setting up the project on land which, she alleged, was forcibly acquired from farmers.

    "I have assured the Tata management that there will be no trouble in the State... We will be handing over the land required for the project to Tata Motors within the next few days."

    "How can Mamata Banerjee stop this project," Mr. Bhattacharjee asked. It had the overwhelming support of the people and farmers voluntarily gave consent letters to hand over 932 acres of land [out of 997 acres required] and cheques were disbursed to them towards compensation.

    It was not farmers but only a small number of unregistered bargadars (tillers) and some agricultural workers who were opposing the project but the process of engaging them in alternative employment started already, Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

    "I put in a lot of work to get Tata Motors to revise their decision and set up the project at Singur, rather than in Uttaranchal, as it would lead to huge development of the region here," he said. "This is most definitely a public interest project."

    As the site became the venue of rallies by different political parties - both opposing and supporting the project - and to ensure that law and order in the region did not suffer, the Government decided to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr.PC in the area, the Chief Minister said.

    "No rally will be allowed by any party for as long as the orders are in force."

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