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Resume work at Singur, Bengal CM tells Ratan Tata
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September 18, 2008 02:20 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday said he had called Tata Motors [Get Quote] Chairman Ratan Tata and urged him to resume work at Singur.

Addressing a press conference at Writers Building, the state secretariat, Bhattcharjee said the Tata Motors chairman was closely watching the situation, but felt that the atmosphere was still not congenial for starting the work.

The chief minister said the situation had improved from what it was 10 days ago, but added that complete normalcy would have to be restored.

Bhattacharjee also urged Tata Motors' vendors to start work. He said the vendors were asked to stop work for a week, according to the agreement between the West Bengal government and the Trinamool Congress-led Krishi Jami Jibon and Jibika Raksha Committee, a representative forum of farmers agitating against the Singur plant.

According to the agreement, a committee has been constituted to ascertain the maximum land that can be given to farmers from the project site. The report was to be submitted in seven days and the vendors were asked to stop construction during the period.

Bhattacharjee also refuted Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee's claims that the land committee had been dissolved. He clarified that the committee had not been dissolved and added that discussions were now being held at the chief minister's level and hence the committee had become redundant. He also clarified that the government had never agreed to give 300 acres from the project site, as was being alleged by Banerjee.

Bhattcharjee said the integrated model of the plant cannot be disturbed. He appealed to the unwilling farmers to accept the government's package by September 22. There is a special 10 per cent incentive for unwilling farmers, if they accept the package within September 22.

Bhattcharjee clarified that there was still room for negotiations on the package.

Banerjee addressed the media later and warned that the agitation would be revived.

She said the committee's report would be submitted to the state governor, Gopal Gandhi, on his return on September 19 and added that a decision on the next course of action would be taken after that.

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