Award Of Compensation Notwithstanding, Exit Of Tata Motors From Singur Was A Loss For All
The farmers of Singur are today saddled with land they cannot cultivate, nor can they sell their plots to anyone because there are no takers for that land.
Tata Motors has been awarded nearly Rs 766 crore as compensation for being forced to exit Singur in Bengal’s Hooghly district where it had invested over Rs 1,400 crore for setting up an automobile plant to roll out its ‘Nano’ cars.
An arbitral tribunal has also asked West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) to pay Tata Motors an annual interest of 11 per cent from September 2016, as well as Rs 1 crore as cost of proceedings.
But the lease deed between Tata Motors and WBIDC may scupper the state’s appeal. Section V of the deed signed in March 2007 expressly states: “If a court or any other authority holds/declares that the land acquisition has not been in accordance with the provisions of law or gives any adverse order which prevents the development/use if the said land by the lessee, then the lessor (WBIDC) shall indemnify and compensate the lessee (Tata Motors) for any losses as may be suffered”.
This clause in the deed will be used to challenge the state’s appeal. And going by past rulings, say legal experts, deeds where a government entity is a signatory are sacrosanct.
Thus, not only has Bengal and its people suffered from the exit of Tata Motors from Singur, the state exchequer is set to suffer another huge blow.
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