Nano project vendors still hope against hope

October 4th, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 4 (IANS) They had invested millions in their small units, all meant to serve the Nano. Now with Tata Motors announcing the pullout of its small car project from West Bengal, these vendors in Singur are just beginning to tot up their losses and trying to close their eyes to the writing on the wall.More than 50 vendors had set up shop in Singur, in Hoogly district around 40 km from Kolkata, to provide the knick knacks for the Rs.100,000 Nano. The units ranged from upholstery, spare parts, plastic, paint and other accessories needed for the world’s cheapest car.

With Tata group chairman Ratan Tata announcing Friday that the Nano would not roll out of West Bengal, the vendors are still hoping against hope that there could be a solution found to the issue and they would not have to move out.

“Nowhere in the world can something like this happen. This was such a prestigious project. It was a project for the masses and for the benefit of the common people,” a vendor told IANS, expressing dismay with the protests by the opposition parties that forced Tata to shift out of the state.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata Friday said: “We have taken the regretful decision to move Nano out of West Bengal… because we’ve a timeline to meet and assurances to keep.”

As ancillary units are an integral part of the project, they will also have to move out of Singur.

“We are hoping against hope that somebody will intervene to resolve the matter,” the vendor said.

Tata Motors began constructing the factory for Nano a couple of years back. But following continued resistance from opposition Trinamool Congress-led protesters demanding return of 400 acres to “unwilling” farmers, the auto major decided to shift out of the state.

Asked how much loss his company would face due to the pull out, the vendor, who declined to be identified, said: “We have not calculated our losses yet. It’s too early to say. We can move our equipment, but we can’t move out the infrastructure that we had constructed.”

He said the recurring protests that led to Tatas withdrawing from Singur would not set a good example before the world.

Another vendor said: “We will follow Tata Motors wherever they go. We have not calculated our losses. We are still hopeful that something good will happen.”

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