The wheel of the iconic Singur agitation came full circle on Thursday as farming resumed at the demolished Tata Motors’ Nano car plant site after a decade with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sprinkling mustard seeds on the land.
The physical possession of 103 acres of land was given to 298 farmers spread over five mouzas well within the 12-week deadline set by the division bench of justices Arun Mishra and V Gopala Gowda of the Supreme Court on August 31.
The bench also ruled that the land acquisition process in Singur for the car project was faulty and was not for public purpose.
"Most of the portion of the Nano car shed has been razed to the ground. Only a small structure is left which will also be demolished in next few days," a senior state government official said.
The process of giving physical possession of the land in Singur to around 4,000 farmers was also started today, with Banerjee handing over plots to some of the farmers. She also inaugurated the first of the 66 deep tube-well pumps that the state government would install for proper irrigation of the 997 acres of farm land.
Banerjee, who had steered a massive agitation against 'forcible' land acquisition in 2006, also promised to “make a monument to commemorate the sacrifice and the hard work of the people of Singur”.
She said that the state government has handed over 103 acres of land to the farmers for cultivation today, and that it will complete the handing over of “all the land to their respective owners by November 10″, adding that the work of making the land cultivable was left to done on only 65 of the 997 acres.
“We have to save the greenery; Singur is smiling again,” Banerjee said.
Underlining the pivotal place of the Singur Movement in the history of agitation for land rights, she said, “The Singur movement will become an international model for land rights”. She also said, “The Singur Movement teaches us that we should never run away from a fight”.
She thanked all the people who had helped her in bringing the land back to its original state: “I thank every officer and the local people for their help in getting the land ready for farming”.
The Chief Minister also thanked “all the intellectuals, artistes and others who supported the movement”.
She talked to the farmers, enquired about the condition of the land and the kind of crops they plan to harvest in days to come. She also handed over crop kits to some farmers.
Last month Banerjee had handed over land 'parchas' and cheques to the farmers in Singur.
'Parcha' is a document which establishes the ownership of a farmer over a piece of land in revenue records.