M A I N   N E W S

Nano plant closed for 2nd day
NHAI team fails to remove blockade
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, August 30
The Singur crisis deepened further today as a team of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAl), which went to Singur with the Calcutta High Court order for “freeing” the Durgapur highway of encroachment, returned after it failed to execute the order.

While Mamata Banerjee and her party men “strengthened” their preparation for the agitation by erecting some more camps on the Durgapur highway for accommodating more people at the dharna, the CPM leadership remained engaged in meetings and consultations throughout the day to find out a solution to overcome the crisis.

Meanwhile, the works at the Tata Motors plant remained suspended for the second day today since the Tata authorities declined to run the plant in the face of obstructions and intimidations from the agitating people.

Mamata refused to respond to any request for meeting with anybody till their demand for return of lands to farmers was agreed “in principle” by the government. She reiterated they would extend all support to the government for the smooth implementation of the Nano project if it was shifted on 600 acres and the remaining 400 acres earmarked for the ancillary industries was returned.

But both Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPM secretary Biman Bose made it clear to her that the “fulfilment” of her demand would mean the “scrapping of the ambitious Nano project at Singur”.

Union information minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunhsi, who is also the state Congress president, alleged that it was the Chief Minister who had created the problem and it was his responsibility to resolve it. He, however, criticised Mamata’s trespassing on the Durgapur highway and disrupting traffic.

Mamata, however, denied they were obstructing vehicular movement on the highway. On the contrary, she alleged district officials and the police at the behest of the Chief Minister were forcing trucks and other vehicles to pass through the Durgapur highway, instead of allowing them to reach the city through the GT Road and the BT Road for discrediting the farmers’ rightful agitation.

She also suspected a foul play in allowing Ratan Tata so much of “undue concession” for his Rs 1,500 crore investment at Singur, when Jindals were spending Rs 3,500 crore on the steel pant at Salboni in Midnapore, without any incentive. Several other industrialists were also denied any “incentive” by the Chief Minister for their investment proposals in the state, she alleged.



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