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Tata drives out of West Bengal


By: Angeline Yeo, India
Published: Oct 07, 2008

India - Continued protests and threats on its workers have forced the Tata group to pull out of its West Bengal plant which was to manufacture the company's much-hyped brand of Nano cars.

The West Bengal government acquired 1,000 acres of land for the Nano project two years ago. More than 10,000 farmers accepted compensation for their land, but approximately 2,000 of them refused and demanded the land to be returned.

Protests from this disgruntled group escalated during the course of the plant's construction, including attacks on the group's engineers and workers.

"It was therefore with great regret that Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, and Ravi Kant, MD of Tata Motors, conveyed to the chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that in the interest of the project's success and viability and in light of the opposition's continued agitation, there was no option but to move the project out of the state of west Bengal," the company said in a statement.

The Nano, which was to be built at the facility, is the world's cheapest car at approximately US$2,130. It was due to be launched in October.

Ratan Tata told local media the Nano will be built "within this year", but declined to reveal where.

Companies featured:

  • Tata Group