Thursday, February 21, 2008

Singur impasse: Govt to compensate unrecorded tenants

The West Bengal government has taken a giant stride towards resolving the farmland acquisition controversy surrounding Tata Motors' proposed factory near Kolkata, reports CNBC-TV18.

The Chief Minister having set a stiff deadline, the administration was racing against time right from the morning. More than a thousand people were deployed to finish fencing the Tata Motors plot, but the work couldn't be completed on Tuesday.

Most farmers have resigned to fate, and a hunger strike is all that they could do to mark their protest. But the West Bengal government has, in the meanwhile, taken a giant stride toward resolving the imbroglio. It has decided to acknowledge the right to livelihood of even unrecorded tenants of Singur farmland and compensate them.

Unrecorded tenants were the key problem in Singur. The promise to compensate them should cut ice with farmers and take the sting out of the Trinamool Congress-led opposition to acquisition of farmland. Registration has begun, and 64 landless peasants have already applied for compensation. Plus, the Bengal Chief Minister having opened the doors yet again for discussion on compensation and rehabilitation, end of the Singur impasse appears to be in sight.