Local recruits in panic as Tata talks of shifting small car plant from Singur

September 3rd, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Singur, Sept 3 (ANI): While Tata Motors suspend construction work at Singur plant and consider alternative sites for manufacturing the worlds” cheapest car, Nano, residents are in panic fearing loss of jobs.
The excitement surrounding the setting up of Nano car plant among many seems to have converted itself into questions of whether the car will finally roll out at the scheduled time-in October, will it roll out from Singur in West Bengal and will the company have to incur losses to sell it at 100,000 rupees.
The stakeholders, beneficiaries, locals and even those who lost their land for setting up the plant, all of them who wished to make an earning out of the much-hyped car are now dejected.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee has been spearheading a movement to fight for the rights of those who lost their land to the Nano factory and its ancillaries. Banerjee is demanding that out of over 1,000 acres (400 hectares) procured for setting up of the Nano car factory, 400 acres earmarked for the ancillary units should be returned to farmers.
But those who gave away their land on their own and accepted compensation feel helpless.
I had given my land for this project. My son was being trained there. Now I get to know that Tata’’s have decided to pull out of here, I am very sad, we would have benefited from it, said Maya Ray, a resident.
The Nano project has been billed as key to the rejuvenation of industries in West Bengal, where the world’’s longest-serving democratically elected Communist government has changed tack for industrialization of the state after decades of focus on helping agriculture and poor farmers.
Many farmers who had sent their children to undergo training at the Tata factory feel that the company’’s exit from the region would result in the loss of many jobs despite assurance by Tata Motors that local recruits would be employed at its other sites.
I have taken training for the Tata factory job. Like me many youths have also taken training and came here from various places. Our dreams have been shattered, said Soumen Ray, an unemployed youth.
On Tuesday, West Bengal Government confirmed that Tata Motors had suspended work at the Nano plant.
Earlier, Tata Motors in a statement said that violent protests had forced it to suspend all work at a plant in Singur where it planned to make the Nano– billed as the world’’s cheapest car — and was to consider alternative 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.
The State Government has urged the Trinamool Congress to work with it to retain the Nano plant in the state.
The unveiling in January of the 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 disputed land measures about 400 acres.
The Trinamool Congress has come under pressure to find a way out of the stand-off after industry lobbies and analysts warned the protests could scare away investors.
Eager to resolve an issue threatening its industry-friendly image, the state government has offered to discuss fresh compensation packages. (ANI)

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