Tata Motors inspects Dharwad site for Nano relocation (Lead)

October 5th, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 5 (IANS) Tata Motors managing director G. Ravi Kant Sunday inspected land in Karnataka’s Dharwad district for possible relocation of the Nano small car project but said no decision has been taken yet.”I cannot say anything at this stage. We are looking at many possibilities,” he told reporters in Dharwad, about 420 kms northwest of Bangalore.

Ahead of the site visit, Ravi Kant and his team of senior officials met Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who offered “land, water, power and other facilities” for relocating the project to manufacture Nano - the world’s least expensive car at Rs.100,000 (about $2,250 at current conversion rates) - from Singur in West Bengal to Dharwad.

Among the other states wooing Tata Motors for the Nano project are Karnataka’s neighbours Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the norhern states of Uttarkhand and Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan in the west, Orissa in the east and even India’s tiny neighbour Sri Lanka.

Yeddyurappa’s team that met Tata Motors officials included industries minister Murugesh Nirani, chief minister’s principal secretary V.P. Baligar, industry secretary V. Umesh and finance secretary M.R. Srinivasmurthy.

Karnataka assembly speaker Jagdish Shettar, who represents Dharwad in the assembly, was also present.

The Tata group already has around 900 acres of land in Dharwad, where it has been manufacturing earth-moving equipment since 1999 and is setting up a plant to build luxury buses.

Tata Motors wants another 1,000 acres of land for the Nano integrated project, which involves locating the ancillary units alongside the mother plant. Karnataka has agreed to provide the land and other facilities.

Industries minister Nirani has said the government has 500 acres with it, and finding another 500 acres in the area was not a problem.

Tata group chairman Ratan Tata announced Friday in Kolkata that the company was pulling out the Nano project in Singur in view of the continuing agitation over land acquisition.

Soon thereafter, Yeddyurappa telephoned Tata and invited him to Bangalore to take forward the state’s offer of land and other facilities for relocating the plant in Dharwad.

Ravi Kant had met Yeddyurappa in Bangalore last month when the relocation was discussed.

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