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Small car plant: Tata Motors happy with progress
November 25, 2006 17:04 IST
Tata Motors expressed satisfaction over the progress of land acquisition for its proposed small car plant at Singur and plan to launch the vehicle in 2008 as scheduled.
"We understand that the (West Bengal) government is acquiring the land fairly quickly. There has been satisfactory progress in this area," managing director Ravi Kant told newsmen in the sidelines of a seminar at the Bengal Engineering and Science University's centenary celebrations at Singur near Kolkata.
Construction work for the project would begin as soon as the government handed over the required land, he said.
The small car was being developed as per schedule at the Tata Motors facility in Pune, he said adding that several prototypes had been tested and orders for components placed with vendors.
The number of vendors, however, were being kept small in order to keep a control on them, he said.
Asked whether the company was planning a single assembly line at its Singur factory, Kant said it would depend on the market that the small car can create. "This is a car meant primarily for India and we are expecting this to change the paradigm of the car industry."
Possibility of manufacturing other models at the Singur factory would depend on the success of the small car, he said.
Kant said the commissioning of the small car factory would 'kick-start' the re-industrialistion process of West Bengal. "This is a chance for West Bengal to come back to the pre-eminent position in industry it once enjoyed," he said.
Citing the example of Pune and Uttaranchal where Tata Motors has set up manufacturing units, he said, "In Pune, the whole landscape has changed within three years of setting up our plant. Uttaranchal has become the hub of the automobile industry within 10 months of our setting up a unit there."
Pointing out that the Singur factory would provide direct employment to 2,000 people and initially create 10,000 indirect jobs, he said Tata Motors also planned to create a 'whole hub' of automobile components in West Bengal.
Earlier, addressing the national seminar on; 'Automobile Engineering: 21st Century Perspectives,' Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said that the plant in West Bengal would also attract a lot of ancilliary industries.
Taking a dig at the Trinamool Congress for its opposition to acquisition of agricultural land at Singur for the Tata Motors factory, Sen said, "There is a debate on what industry can do vis-a-vis agriculture. While we are trying to redevelop industry, such a debate is unfortunate. But the state cannot develop by agriculture alone."
During the seminar, BESU Vice-Chancellor N R Banerjee and Dean, Faculty of Engineering of Canada's Windsor University Graham Reader signed a letter of intent on collaborative research in automobile engineering. A MoU between the two universities would follow in January, Banerjee said.
Land at Singur to be handed over to Tatas next month
The West Bengal government would hand over the entire 997 acre acquired by it at Singur to Tata Motors next month for its small car project.
"Paddy on the land is yet to be harvested. The government will take possession of the land and hand it over to Tata Motors in December after the paddy is harvested," Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen said on Friday.
The formalities and paper work for conversion of the land was complete, he told reporters.
He said 90 per cent of the people at Singur had agreed to give their land for the car project of which 60 per cent had received compensation.