A three-member Arbitral Tribunal on Monday gave a unanimous award in favour of Tata Motors to be compensated ₹766 crore plus interest for its investment in the now-scrapped Singur plant in West Bengal.
“In respect of the arbitration proceedings between Tata Motors Limited (TML) and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Limited (WBIDC), in relation to TML’s claim of compensation from WBIDC under various heads, on account of the loss of capital investments, with regard to the automobile manufacturing facility at Singur (West Bengal), this is to inform that the aforesaid pending Arbitral proceedings before a three member Arbitral Tribunal has now been finally disposed of by a unanimous Award dated October 30, 2023 in favour of TML,” Tata said in a reported exchange filing.
Singur land case: A timeline
On May 18, 2006, Ratan Tata announced the Nano car project at Singur on the day coinciding with then West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee taking oath for the second term. However, the project ran into trouble with farmers staging protest against ‘forcible’ acquisition of land for the Tata project.
Mamata Banerjee, who was the opposition leader at that time, undertook an indefinite hunger strike on December 3 that year against the project. She called off her protest following appeals by then President APJ Abdul Kalam and then prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
On March 9, 2007, Tata and the then Left government inked the Singur land deal lease. By May 24, the talks between the Left regime and the TMC had failed. On February 15, 2008, Tata announced Nano roll out by October. On September 3, Tata suspended work and a month later, it announced that it was moving out Nano operations from West Bengal to Gujarat.
In 2011, Mamata Banerjee-led TMC swept the state assembly election.After coming to power, Banerjee announced the ordinance to take back Singur land. On June 22 that year, Tata Motors challenged the Singur Act in the Calcutta high court seeking stay on government order. After the Calcutta high court refused to grant stay, Tata had moved the Supreme Court.