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Tata Motors evaluating alternate sites to make Nano PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 September 2008

REUTERS, MUMBAI- Tata Motors Ltd said it had suspended work at the Singur plant in West Bengal where it planned to make the Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, because of violent protests and was evaluating alternate sites.

Tata Motors said it was putting together a detailed plan for the relocation of the plant and machinery, and was evaluating options for manufacturing the Nano at other company facilities.
 
"This decision was taken in order to ensure the safety of its employees and contract labour, who have continued to be violently obstructed from reporting to work," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
 
It said the project's auto ancillary partners, who had commenced work at their respective plants at the site in Singur, had also suspended work.
 
Chairman Ratan Tata said last month he was prepared to move the plant from West Bengal despite having invested $350 million in the project because of the risks to employees from the protests.
 
The Nano project has been billed as a key to the rejuvenation of industries in West Bengal, where the world's longest-serving democratically elected Communist government has changed tack after decades of focus on helping agriculture and poor farmers.
 
The unveiling in January of the 100,000 rupee ($2,250) snub-nosed Nano was hailed by the state's ruling Communists, but protests have since gathered steam.
 
Trouble began after the government took over 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of farmland for the factory. The government offered compensation, but some farmers with smaller land holdings have refused compensation, demanding that land be given back to them.
 
The protests reflect a larger standoff between industry in India and farmers unwilling to part with land in a country where two-thirds of the billion-plus population depend on agriculture.

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