In this interaction with the residents of Singur, from where Mamata Banerjee’s agitation threw out the Tata Nano project, the farmers complain they had been told either the setting up of factories would bring jobs to the village or they will get adequate compensation for the plots of land that were taken away from them for the project, but neither has happened since 2011 when the Trinamool Congress (TMC) came to power, riding on the sentiment.
Another farmer says TMC cadre arrive in their area nowadays to demand extortion money. “We were in a much better condition before we listened to Mamata Banerjee, which ended our livelihood and did not replace it with other means,” he says.
BJP leader Locket Chatterjee (masked) shows the field behind the crowd that was once used to grow mustard. It’s now lying as fallow land full of grass and wild outgrowth. She alleges that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has brought about the promised “poriborton” (change) only for herself and her party men. The TMC leaders of Singur are now multi-millionaires who have moved from their modest houses to sprawling mansions, Chatterjee adds.
Singur gained international media attention since Tata Motors started constructing a factory to manufacture their $ 2,500 (sub-Rs 1 lakh at that point) car, the Tata Nano at Singur. The small car was scheduled to roll out of the factory by 2008. In October 2008 Tatas announced withdrawal from the project. In 2016, the Supreme Court quashed the West Bengal government’s acquisition of 997 acres of agricultural land for Tata Motors and ordered its return to 9,117 landowners.
The returned land in Singur is now mostly not cultivable, as the preliminary work to erect a factory here rendered the soil infertile.
The villages comprising Singur in District Hooghly of West Bengal are Dewan Bheri, Dobandi, Baburberi, Khasherbheri, Joymolla, Ujjal Sangha, Beraberi, Bajemelia, Anandanagar, Ratanpur, Gopalnagar, Sahanapara, Pakirapara, Apurbapur, Jalaghata, Nildhighipar, Daluigacha East and West, Mirzapur, Bankipur, Boinchipota, Nabapally, Beleghata, Khosalpur, Pawnan, Gandarpukur, Choyani, Ratanpur 1 & 2, Singherbheri, Boyspara, Nasibpur, Hakimpur, Nanda, Habos Pota, Naskarpur, Balarampur, Chhutipur, Subhipur, Notun Bazar, Benipur, Antisara, Burashanti, Ghanashyampur, Paltagorh, Telipukur, Durgarampur, Biramnagar, Harishnagar (Dopaghata), Rajarabathan etc.
Video language: Bangla