Rajasthan joins bid to woo Tata’s Nano project

August 25th, 2008 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Aug 25 (IANS) Rajasthan has become the latest to join several others in inviting the Tata Group to relocate to the state their Nano car project from Singur in West Bengal.Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a statement Sunday evening, said: “We will provide all required support to facilitate setting up of the plant.”

“The Honda car plant being set up in Khushkhera, from where cars are expected to roll out next year, stands testimony to the investor friendly climate in the state”, Raje added.

Sources close to the chief minister told IANS that Raje is planning to send an official delegation to meet Ratan Tata soon.

Ever since Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata threatened last Friday to pull out of West Bengal in view of the political controversies over the project, several states have invited the Tatas to relocate their Nano project to their states.

These states include Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

The principal opposition party in West Bengal Trinamool Congress has launched an indefinite siege of the project site at Singur demanding that 400 acres out of the total 997.11 acres allotted for the project be returned to their original owners.

The chief minister’s invitation comes at a time when Rajasthan is gradually emerging as a major automobile hub.

In May last year, Honda Siel Cars India Limited (HSCIL) had announced that they were setting up a car manufacturing unit in the state with an initial investment of about Rs.10 billion.

The new project is coming up on 600 acres of land and will have an initial production capacity of 60,000 units per annum.

In addition to the car manufacturing facility, which will come up on 400 acres, several component vendors are setting up their factories on another 150 acres.

With additional investment of about Rs.10 billion, the capacity of the plant may be scaled up later to over 200,000 units per annum.

Following Honda’s move, several auto component manufacturers have started to head for Rajasthan.

Already several automobile majors such as Ashok Leyland, Eicher and Hero Honda, amongst others, are present in the region.

Particularly, the area in the state that falls within the National Capital Region (NCR) comprising Bhiwadi, Khuskhera and Chopanki, is fast emerging as an automobile hub.

About 70-odd automobile component production units with total investments of over Rs.6 billion are already operating in this area.

Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Limited (RIICO), which has played a big role in the state’s industrialization, has initiated a study to develop a Strategic Road Map for development of the automobile sector.

Recently, RIICO decided to earmark about 200 acres in Pathredi in Alwar district for the automobile components and engineering sectors.

RIICO will be providing state-of-the-art infrastructure and an enabling environment for developing the area which may attract investments of about Rs.12.5 billion.

RIICO has also embarked upon developing another automobile components zone in the industrial area being developed as Bhiwadi Extension near its existing industrial area. This zone offers potential for attracting further investments of Rs.30-50 billion through automobile components manufacturers.

RIICO has also initiated a move to set up a Tool Room-cum-Training Centre at Pathredi near Chopanki to provide support to the automobile components sector.

In the first phase, the total investments on the centre are likely to be Rs.250-300 million.

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