Kolkata: Sharing the anxiety of Tatas, West Bengal government today said it is “legally” not possible to return the land acquired under the acquisition law, while hoping that the corporate giant will not withdraw the small-car project from Singur.
“The way Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress President) is demanding, it is impossible for the state government to meet her demand. Legally, it is not possible to return the land acquired under Land Acquisition Act,” West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen SAID, while quoting a ruling from the Supreme Court.
“The issue was also taken to the Calcutta High Court and it said that land acquisition was as per law,” he said, adding that there were no legal provisions to return the land once acquired by the government under the acquisition law.
Spearheading the agitation demanding return of the 400 acres of the land from 1,000 acres given to Tatas for the Nano project by the state government, Banerjee today said the only solution to the stand-off could be shifting the vendors to the opposite side of the car unit.
Asked if there could be a break-through in the stalemate in view of the strident position taken by Banerjee, Sen said “we are trying to resolve the issue. We hope we will be able to it.”
Sharing the anxiety of the Tatas, who evacuated the entire workforce from the project site on Thursday in the face of intimidation from the protestors, Sen said “I think they (Tatas) will not leave the state. We will convince them. (But) ultimately people of the state will decide whether this kind of project will remain in the state.”
Asked about the option and if the group would take a call on whether to stay in the state, a Tata spokesperson said “we are assessing all our options.”
A review of the situation could be done by the Tatas early next week when the group Chief Ratan Tata returns to the country.