In its major drive towards industrialization, the West Bengal (leftist) government has decided (May 16, 2006) to acquire 1,253 acres of agricultural lands at Singur (covering 11 villages) for the construction of a "Tata Motors" plant. The project affects more than 5000 families, however, the decision was made without any public consultation.
Actually there is un-arable land available for Tata but the company insists to take the fertile land which can turn into a real estate venture in the near future. The one time compensation is much lower than market price (52%) and is only available to male land owners, excluding women and agricultural labours.
Yesterday I came across some striking statistics concerning China from a blogger, kai:
"According to the official figure, the total area of land that our government has approved (for developmental projects) annually was 1600 square kilometers, equal to 240 mu. The price of the land various from 4-5 millions yuan in Beijing and Zhejiang area to 0.1-0.2 millions yuan in northwestern region. When we average-off the land price, our governments (from different levels) earned up to 2,000 billions of yuan annually by giving land out! The amount is equal to 50% of our nation's total annual tax income, and 10% of our GDP."