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Tata wins battle for Nano Manufacturing Plant

By Motortrend India Staff   |   21 January,2008

The Indian court finally ended the battle in regard to the controversial acquisition of land by Tata to set up a plant to build the ultra low cost car - the Nano. The final court verdict gives Tata complete permission to go ahead with their project as planned.

Violent protests erupted against the Tata takeover of the land. Mamta Bannerjee, a prominent West Bengal opposition party leader known to stand against private investments, headed these protests with the support of hundreds of Singhur farmers. Close to 1000 acres (400 hectares) of farmland was allocated for the plant. The farmers accused the government and claimed that the land in Singhur, 50 kilometers north of Kolkata, belonged to them and that the government had forcefully taken it and given them only half the market value of the land.

The court denied the accusation and said that there was “no colorable exercise of power" by the state government in acquiring the land, and that the procedure had been carried out following all legal procedures. Tata refused to comment on this delicate issue and waited for the state government’s decision that turned out to be in their favor. The company "is moving along on target" for the Nano to roll off production lines in the second half of the financial year, according to various reports.

The plant will have an initial annual production output of 2,50,000 units that will rise later to 3,50,000. It will create more than 10,000 jobs in the region that will create great growth opportunities in terms of employment and development. However, supporters of the protests say that close to 1,500 sharecroppers and agricultural laborers had been dependant on this land for farming and their daily survival.

“It is only because of the support from the West Bengal government during these hard times that has helped in making my dream come true. This will pave the way for further investments in the region," says Ratan Tata.

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