The West Bengal Assembly today passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill 2011, paving the way for returning land acquired from unwilling farmers for Tata Motors' Nano project.
The bill seeks to scrap the 997.17-acre land lease with Tata Motors for its since-abandoned plant, enabling the government to take back the land to fulfil the ruling Trinamool Congress's poll promise to return 400 acres to the farmers.
The Bill enjoins that Tata Motors and its vendor companies would vacate possession of the land in favour of the Hooghly district magistrate. It was introduced at 1 pm by industry minister Partha Chatterjee and passed by voice vote.
The principal aim of the bill is to return to the owners land that was taken by the previous Leftist Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee administration for the 'public purpose' of setting up the Nano factory at Singur in Hooghly, about 40 km from Kolkata.
CPI(M) MLAs Subhas Naskar and Abdur Rezzak Mollah, both ministers of the previous Left Front government, remarked that all owners should be given back their land, and not just a few. Left MLAs also said the bill was introdued in great haste.
"The entire land should have been returned to all landowners. There were instances where many people were armtwisted to give their land," said Rabindranath Chateerjee, Congress MLA.