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The Singur-TATA Curry

Taking on Singur Tata Curry

West Bengal government’s decision to acquire land in Singur for a car factory has drawn much argument from various sectors leading to widespread violence.

SINGUR, a small town in Hoogly district of West Bengal is in the news for a little more than a year now. With a population of over 20,000 and a literacy rate of nearly 80 per cent, which is much higher than the national average, the ruling party found it quite tough to handle the  situation when the residents going against the land acquisition, which was to be used for a car-manufacturing unit.
It may be mentioned that CPI (M), the ruling party in the state had acquired 997 acres of multi crop land required for a car factory to be constructed by TATA motors for the much awaited 1 lac tag vehicle NANO.

The acquisition has drawn huge protests from opposition parties who want to grab every opportunity provided by the situation and the farmers in general, who are worried about losing their land and procuring the next meal for themselves and their families.
Argument of the ruling party:
The ruling party has its argument well in place. 
  • It says that land is a scarce resource in West Bengal. 
  •  The result is the population density of the state has risen to 906 per square kilometre.
  • As the state was first industrialized long time before, it needs a reindustrialization, CPA decided on a vigorous push towards the commissioning of new industries particularly in the manufacturing sector.
  • The land being not fertile enough to support agriculture, can be used for other industrial works . and for the same , the farmers would be compensated- This is the policy of Ruling Party (the ruling party in its election manifesto had stated that any land if acquired for building infrastructure, the farmers would be given appropriate compensation, rehabilitation if facing loss of home, and arrangement for alternative work.)
  • According to a report released by the government of west Bengal, a total of 997.11 acres of land was acquired on December 31, 2006. 
  • The process of land acquisition in Singur began with the publication of notifications under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894. Payment of compensation in accordance with the award began on September 25, 2006 and is still continuing.
Reaction of the opposition:
  • Making the best possible use of situation, the opposition parties seem to be playing with the emotions of the farmers who are already reeling under the pressure of their land being taken away for the construction of the factory.
  •  Mamta Banerjee, Trinamool Congress supreme, has indulged in ongoing histrionics over the Singur issue and had recharged her ammunition at the expense of the victims of Nandigram. 
  • The Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJP) expressed outrage over the casualties in the tiny town and repeatedly brought parliamentary proceedings to a halt on the issue.

  • The Singur curry took a mighty turn when the government of West Bengal sent in police force that opened fire on villagers who were agitated by the acquisition of their agricultural land. 
  • Fourteen people died in the police firing and scores of others were injured. 
Expected and desired outcome:
  • The small car to be manufactured by TATA motors was scheduled to roll out of the factory by 2008. It was expected that the small car would mark a watershed in the global automobile industry. 
  • Singur would become a mini-auto city. 
  • More than 70 vendors would be able to set up shops along with the factory. 
  • The project had an investment of around 2000 crores to Singur. 
  • The project was expected to generate additional revenue of about Rs. 450 crores for the State Government and employment for over 7,500 people.

The Unexpected would be Truth:

 Who says that the expectations are always met...

Its a complete mess now, The TATAs have warned many times, and now they are on the verge to quit.

They are looking for various alternatives, its too difficult to make such turns , but TATA is ready to turnaround.

Sources in the West Bengal government's finance department have argued that  the state had made budgetary provisions that would run into several hundred crores every year for 20 to 30 years to attract Tata Motors'  Nano project to Singur. 
This payout was to begin from the scheduled start of the production in 2008. 
The project is now facing problems owing to protests by land-losers unwilling to compensation from the government.
At the end of 2006, the state government had disbursed the first part of its support to Tata Motors in the form of a soft loan of Rs 200 crore at an interest of 1 per cent per year repayable in five equal annual instalments from the 21st year from disbursement of the loan, entailing a lock-up of the capital and loss of interest income on the amount for the entire tenure.
At a simple rate of 12 per cent a year, the interest subsidy would cost the state about Rs 25 crore a year.

Its not the TATAs alone who have been hurt, in this turmoil, the Govt has suffered too..


M_U_K_U_N{U_V} said…
Sir ji ab to decide ho gaya
TATA is out of W.B. now

Sorry for late comment
amita said…
very informative
keep it up
god bless u

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