Bengal loss is Gujrat gain

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

After a controversial stay in West Bengal, Tata Motors today shifted its Nano car project to Northcote Cattle Farm in Sanand, 30 km from Ahmedabad, declaring that efforts would, meanwhile, be made to roll out the world’s cheapest car from a make-shift plant in the last quarter of the current financial year.It is a homecoming,” said a beaming Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by his side.
Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle maker, had also examined possible locations in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra before settling for
Gujarat. The search for an alternative location arose after the Tata group announced that it would exit the 900-odd acre factory complex in Singur, 40 km from Kolkata, following disruptions from protests by unwilling land losers led by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. “This is an extremely momentous and happy day for us because we have been through a rather sad experience from a small quarter of residents of West Bengal, despite the state government’s efforts,” Tata said.
The Gujarat government today handed over 1,100 acres of prime land for the project. The Tata group will invest Rs 2,000 crore to manufacture the Nano and its variants including an electric car and a CNG car. A state support agreement was signed by government officials and senior Tata Motors executives.
The plant will have a capacity to manufacture 250,000 cars a year in the first phase, which will be built up to 500,000 cars a year.
The project complex will also house a vendor and ancillary park accommodating 60 small and medium units and “could be bigger than the project originally envisaged,” Tata said.
“We chose Gujarat because of the conducive and industry-friendly environment as well as infrastructure. Also, the location of the land that was being offered was very attractive,” Tata said.
Tata said he was impressed with the pace at which the Gujarat government facilitated the project shift, including the land acquisition. “We promise to become a good corporate citizen of Gujarat and stand for all that Gujarat stands for,” he said.
When asked about the benefits the Gujarat government had offered for the plant, Tata said they were slightly better than what West Bengal had offered. The Tata group has bought 1,100 acre of prime land at around Rs 3.5 lakh an acre.
“This is Tata Motors’ maiden venture in Gujarat, and will broad-base the company’s manufacturing footprint. We are happy to contribute to Gujarat’s strong industrial progress by creating an auto cluster, which will have a cascading impact on the state’s economy,” he added.
The company is also planning to set up an automobile academy in the area. In a speech laced with quips, he added in Gujarati: “Aapde ahiya na chiye ane aapde ahiya paachaa aavya (We belong here and so we have come back here)”. He could have been referring to the fact that Jamsetji Tata had donated Rs 1,000 here to establish the cattle farm when the state suffered severe drought about 100 years ago. Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who completed seven years in office today, said, “I see this project as much more than a mere investment — I am supporting it in national spirit.”
“After ship-breaking, pharma, petrochemicals and textiles, this project will make Gujarat a force to reckon with in the surface transport sector as well as automobiles,” Modi added. “Several countries have invited the Tatas to set up the project. If that would have happened, it would have been bad for the whole country.” On the relocation cost of the Singur plant, Tata said, “We are evaluating it and have not quantified the loss. We are trying to retrieve all costs out of Singur. We hope this will have not have any effect on our finances in the current fiscal.”
Meanwhile, Tata Motors will explore the possibility of manufacturing the Nano at its facilities at Pune, Maharashtra, and Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, to meet the launch deadline. “We may not have the volumes but we’ll try and meet the deadline,” said Tata.


fatoori said...

hello avinash! thanks a lot for visiting my blog and appreciating the post!however, personal experiences are nothing as compared to issues that affect the society.ur blog entry about the pre-Nano effect in our country, interested me a lot.there are certain other perspectives 2 it 2, quite clearly presented by Prem Shankar Jha in his comment published in HT recently. u wl find it here

Hope it benefits u n ur readers.
Thanx once again!

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