An unfortunate day for West Bengal: Nirupam Sen

September 2nd, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 2 (IANS) As Tata Motors signalled it was ready to pull out of Singur, where its factory to produce the world’s cheapest car Nano has faced protests, West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen Tuesday said it was an unfortunate day for the state.”It’s a most unfortunate day for West Bengal. I could never imagine the movement will culminate to such an extent when the Tatas would have to stop operations in the unit,” Sen told a TV channel.

“I never imagined the opposition Trinamool Congress would become so averse to the Tata Motors small car project which had already earned an international reputation.

“Last time when we held a meeting with the Trinamool leadership, they assured us that their movement would continue peacefully. They said there would be no disruption to the construction work from their activists at the factory site in Singur,” the minister said.

Tata Motors’ plant lost four mandays due to the Trinamool-backed agitation at the plant site in Singur, about 40 km from here.

The company issued a press statement Tuesday evening, saying: “Tata Motors Ltd has been constrained to suspend the construction and commissioning work at the Nano plant in Singur in view of continued confrontation and agitation at the site. This decision was taken in order to ensure the safety of its employees and contract labour, who have been violently obstructed while reporting to work.

“The company has assessed the prevailing situation in Singur, after four continuous days of cancellation of work, and believes that there is no change in the volatile situation around the plant.

“In view of the current situation, the company is evaluating alternate options for manufacturing the Nano car at other company facilities and a detailed plan to relocate the plant and machinery to an alternate site is under preparation,” the statement said.

Sen said: “So far I’ve not talked to the Tatas directly, after they issued the statement. I think we should immediately talk to the opposition political parties and arrive at a consensus on the stand-off. Only then can we request the automobile major again to come back to West Bengal.”

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