Money before Mamata visit in Singur, land before Durga puja

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Kolkata: If everything goes as planned, some of the unwilling land losers of Singur will get their compensation before

or on the day of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the spot on September 14. This will be her first visit after the historic supreme court verdict to return the land to the farmers. Some farmers will get back their land even before the pujas.
The Durga Puja, the biggest annual celebration of the Bengalis, is going to be held in the second week of October this year.
RMamata will address a ‘victory rally’ in Singur on September 14. It will be held on the Durgapur Expressway (NH-2), in front of the Nano plant, where she sat on a 16-day dharna in August-September 2008 that ultimately forced the Tatas to move the project out of Singur. Sources claimed the chief minister wants some farmers who have received the money to be on the dais.Working on a war footing, the land acquisition department of Hooghly district opened a camp office at Beraberi village, many of whose residents gave up their land, on Sunday, to receive applications from unwilling land losers for the compensation that they did not accept so long. The compensation cheques will be disbursed after a verification of the ownership claims.
On Sunday more than 100 villagers submitted their claims supported by documents.“The urgency of releasing the payments before the chief minister’s visit prompted us to open the camp office on Sunday. More camps will be opened over the next couple of days for speedy disposal of the claims,” a top official of Hooghly told HT on Sunday.
Sources in the district administration said that they have been instructed by the state secretariat to ensure that some plots of land are handed over to the original owners by the first week of October.“It is not possible to let the original owners take physical possession of the entire land after restoring it to a cultivable state, that too within the stipulated time. However, we have been asked to ensure that some of the plots unaffected by construction work are handed over before Durga Puja,” a senior officer said.At the abandoned Nano plant compound, several hundred officials and workers from various government departments in Hooghly and Kolkata are working round-the-clock to ensure Mamata’s wish is fulfilled.
The surveyors are using small drones for aerial mapping and the differential global positioning system for accurate identification of the plots of land. Such equipment as combined harvester, cranes, excavators and JCB machines have arrived at the abandoned factory compound to clear the jungles and level the land. Bulldozers will arrive shortly to tear down the factory sheds.
The Supreme Court ruling says all the land losers must get their land back. While those who had willingly parted with their land have already received compensation, the compensation awarded to the unwilling land losers is still lying with the district administration.