Tata Motors welcomes West Bengal government’s Singur package (Lead)

September 14th, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 14 (IANS) Auto major Tata Motors in a statement Sunday said it appreciated the West Bengal government’s initiative for people whose land was acquired for its Nano small car project in Singur in the state.”Tata Motors appreciates and supports the recent initiatives of the government of West Bengal for the residents of Singur area where it had acquired land for Tata Motors Nano project,” the statement said.

“Tata Motors decided to set up its Nano plant at Singur to play an active role in the re-industrialisation of the state of West Bengal and make a contribution to the economic development of the region, providing direct and indirect employment opportunities and participating in the overall community development.

“Tata Motors hopes that these initiatives will evoke a positive response from the residents of Singur and that all stakeholders will contribute to create a congenial environment conducive to the long-term sustained operations of an industrial enterprise,” the statement added.

The state government Sunday advertised the compensation package in local newspapers.

Tata Motors began constructing the Singur factory two years ago to launch Nano, the world’s least expensive car at Rs.100,000 (about $2,250).

But from the very beginning, it has faced resistance from the opposition Trinamool Congress party, which says farmland for the project had been had been acquired forcibly.

A section of farmers, led by the Trinamool, are demanding the return of 400 acres to farmers who did not want to part with their holding in the first place. Altogether, 997.11 acres had been acquired for the project.

In its bid to save the project, the state government has announced a better compensation package for farmers and agreed to return 70 acres from the project area.

But this was ‘unacceptable’ to Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, who is sticking to her demand for the return of the contentious 400 acres.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors has indefinitely stopped work at the Nano factory site from early this month.

Nano is scheduled to roll out in October, coinciding with the beginning of India’s festive season.

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