Singur: Farmers Erupt in Joy After Court OrderSingur erupts in joy
By Sunil Garodia
Singur in Bengal has erupted in joy on hearing the good tidings from the Supreme Court. The order is so clear that it benefits everyone except perhaps the Tatas , the landless labourers who tilled the parcels of land that was acquired and land sharks who will not be able to profit from land deals now as the price of land in the vicinity is going to drop drastically. State chief minister Mamata Banerjee was also very happy with the court order and said that she can now die in peace since her fight for the poor had reached a happy conclusion.
Farmers to get back their land and keep the compensation paid
All farmers are to get back their land in 12 weeks (it might take longer though as modalities will have to be worked out) and they get to keep the compensation that was paid to them. Those unwilling farmers who had not drawn their compensation money have been directed by the apex court to do so now. The court has recognized that the character of the land has changed and it has asked the land revenue department of the state government to work out the modalities.
Landless labourers likely to suffer
The landless labourers were getting 2 kgs of rice and Rs 2000 from the state government. Now they are worried that the dole will stop. But they need not worry. Knowing Mamata Banerjee, she is not going to stop the benefit till the land is restored to the farmers and the labourers get back to work.
Land sharks will not profit
Many speculators had acquired land in the vicinity at throwaway prices in the hope of making a killing if the Tatas won the case in the Supreme Court and set up an industry there. They were hoping that demand for land would come from ancillary units. Their hopes have been dashed now.
Tatas may demand compensation
As for the Tatas, the only course left for them is to demand compensation from the state government for the amount of investment they made in Singur, along with up to date interest. That again will be the subject of a protracted court battle as the state government is unlikely to pay for the folly of its predecessor. A magnanimous Mamata has invited the Tatas to come to Bengal, but this is one offer that they are likely to pass.