The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday blamed the 1894 Land Acquisition Act for the recent upset where the Supreme Court struck down the acquisition of 997 acres at Singur in West Bengal’s Hooghly district by the then Left Front government in 2006.
“…The acquisition process had to be undertaken under the 1894 Land Acquisition Act, which was the only legal instrument available at that time. This was an Act, which did not protect the interests of farmers adequately,” a statement issued by the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) said.
In the statement, issued two days after the apex court order, the Polit Bureau said that in 2011 while reviewing the result of the West Bengal Assembly polls, the party’s Central committee acknowledged that the administrative and political mistakes in this regard proved costly.
The CPI(M) pointed out that after the project was abandoned when the Trinamool Congress government brought in a bill in the Assembly to return land to those who refused to take the compensation, it was in favour of returning land to all erstwhile owners. The CPI(M) will continue its efforts for improvements to the >Right to Fair Compensation & Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act adopted by Parliament in 2013 further in the interests of farmers, the statement said.
Land survey begins
Meanwhile, in Singur, the State government started on ground measurement of land. Senior officials of the Hooghly district along with officers of the State Land department visited the site and started measurement.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that her government will physically hand over possession of land to farmers in the stipulated time as per the Supreme Court order. She said land survey will be completed in next two weeks.