Will Tata Motors resume work at Singur? (Lead)

September 8th, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 8 (IANS) Will Tata Motors restart work at Singur to produce their small car Nano? As its employees failed to show up for work Monday morning, that’s the question being asked, a day after farmers called off their 15-day strike to demand a part of the land acquired for the project back from the government.”I do not have any comments,” a spokesperson for Tata Motors said after the West Bengal government and the Trinamool Congress, that was spearheading the agitation, reached a far-reaching pact late Sunday evening to resolve the 28-month dispute.

No employee of Tata Motors or its contractors entered the factory in Singur, 40 km from here, despite the success of the talks mediated by West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, and an overwhelming support from affected farmers.

The agitation since Aug 24 had led Tata Motors to suspend work at the factory to produce the world’s cheapest car, priced at Rs.100,000/$2,500, which had caught global attention.

The agreement, reached after talks between West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, calls for a committee to look into the demands of affected farmers.

A section of the farmers - who owned some 400 acres out of 997.11 acres acquired for the project, and ancillary units - wanted the same to be returned, saying it was forcibly acquired.

The committee will have to give its report in seven days.

Till then, while work at Tata Motors factory can resume, the construction of the ancillary units around it will be on hold, said the state governor, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

“This is a great victory for all those who have been agitating for close to two-and-a-half years. As the government has decided to provide land to the unwilling farmers, it is a big outcome of the dialogue,” Banerjee said.

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