Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is in faraway Vatican to attend Mother Teresa’s canonization. But her presence loomed large in Singur on Sunday where officials of the Hooghly administration sacrificed their holiday to expedite the process of handing out compensation cheques to the “unwilling farmers“. These landowners didn’t want to part with their land for the Tata Motors project in 2006 and refused to collect their compensation cheques.
Before her departure for Europe, Mamata had made it clear that she wanted the state machinery to work overtime so that the Supreme Court order on returning the land wit hin 12 weeks is met. The government has taken possession of the 977.11-acre land on Friday and commenced the process of measuring and marking it for handing plots back to owners.
On Sunday , officials of the Chinsurah land acquisition office set up a camp at Beraberi mouja to examine the land deeds of landowners who had not taken the compensation cheques. The camp will function for seven days. Altogether, 17 staff from the office were present in Singur to carry out the verification before fresh cheques are issued.
However, there is silence among a section of land owners over the compensation amount. Several of them asked the officials whether the amount was being revised to compensate for the interest loss they had suffered in the past 10 years. “We protested against the illegal acquisition process and did not take cheques. On the other hand, there were owners who sold the land and took the cheques in 2006 and have been enjoying the interest on the amount.When the government is celebrating the success of the verdict, it should ensure that those land owners who had stood by Mamata are now compensated for the sacrifice,“ said Himadri Sarkar, a land owner from Beraberi.
Bartaman Patrika epaper 05-09-2016: http://epaper.prabhatkhabar.com