The West Bengal government Wednesday doubled to Rs.2,000 the monthly allowance of Singur's farmers unwilling to sell their lands after the Calcutta High Court struck down the government's Singur land act.
"We had earlier announced a monthly allowance of Rs.1,000. But prices have gone up. They can't make ends meet. So, we have decided to increase the amount to Rs.2000 per month till we officially return the land to them," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the state secretariat here.
She said both farmers and agricultural labourers would be entitled to receive the allowance.
The unwilling farmers are those from whom 400 acres of land was acquired, allegedly with force, by the erstwhile Left Front government to enable automobile major Tata Motors to set up its Nano small car factory.
The unwilling farmers are already being given two kg of rice at Rs.2 per kg.
Tata Motors' plans to roll out the Nano from Singur in Hooghly district, around 40 km from here, came unstuck following an intense agitation of peasants led by the Trinamool Congress, which demanded the return of the 400 acres acquired from farmers between 2006 and 2007.
Riding on the peasant agitations in Singur and Nandigram in West Midnapore district, the Trinamool increased its popularity and the party ended the 34-year rule of the Left Front in 2011.
Within a month of coming to power, the new government passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to return the acquired land to the unwilling farmers. But it received a jolt last week after a division bench of the Calcutta High Court declared the law "unconstitutional and void".