Kolkata: In her first major policy decision, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that her government would return 400 acres from the abandoned Tata Motors plant at Singur to farmers who unwillingly parted with their land.
“The first decision taken in the cabinet is return of 400 acres from the abandoned Tata Motors plant in Singur. If the Tatas are willing, they can set up the factory on 600 acres,” she said at her maiden press conference after holding the first cabinet meeting at Writers’ Buildings.
To a query whether she would make the agreement between the Tatas and the previous Left Front government public, she said, “We have asked for a copy of the agreement. The agreement will be made public. I believe in transparency.”
When pointed out that the land was with the Tatas on lease and how leased land could be returned, Banerjee retorted “You do not have to worry. The government will act as per law.”
Asked whether the Tatas would be invited to invest in West Bengal, she said, “I wish that they invest in the state.”
Sought a reaction, a Tata Motors spokesman said “no comment”.
Following the pull-out of the Nano project from Singur because of agitation by the Trinamool Congress, the Tatas had shifted the mother plant to Sanand in Gujarat in October 2008.
Subsequently, the company continued to hold the land by paying the yearly lease rentals.