Tata stops work; may finally say Bengal Ta-Ta
Expecting a faster and final resolution of the ongoing Singur standoff that has created threat not only to the production site but also to the life of workers involve, the Tata Motors on Tuesday officially announced the suspension of work at Nano plant at Singur and said it is considering moving ahead to any other site.
The announcement came at a time when the Singur stalemate was heading to a probable solution as the reluctant Mamta Banerjee—who was standing at dharna outside the site and pressing for the return of 400 acres of land—eventually agreed for talks with the state government on West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi’s offer to mediate.
Responding to Tata's decision, the Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee clearly said: “It is their internal and technical matter. We have not stopped work at the Tata project. The decision to suspend work at plant was Tata's own. What can we do if workers are reluctant to come?”
A statement issued from Tata Motors said: “The prevailing precarious situation at Singur even after five continuous days of cancellation of work forced the Tata to take decision in order to ensure the safety of its employees and contract labourers.”
The situation around the Nano plant at Singur is on the boil even today. In these circumstances, it is just impossible to work with efficiency. The volatile situation outside the plant has placed our employees at the risk of life, said the spokesperson of Tata Motors, adding that we came to Bengal with a hope to add value, prosperity and create job opportunities in the state. Our work has been badly affected owing to constant agitation and protests.
Many of our employees engaged in construction and commission work were living at Singur and the nearby areas, however, the constant protest had forced them to vacate company owing to fear, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Governor—who was initially hesitating to interfere owing to constitutional reasons—eventually agreed to intervene seeking a peaceful solution of the volatile situation. Mr. Gandhi was earlier offered to mediate by the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee but he expressed his reluctance to take the responsibility.
CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee also met the Governor on Tuesday with a request to take the initiative to find a solution to the situation that has evolved at Singur.
The governor said he wanted a peaceful resolution of the impasse. Therefore, he has taken the initiative to bring both the sides to the negotiation table. But he made it clear that due to constitutional reasons, he could not play the role of a mediator, as per sources.
Nirupam Sen, the State's Industries Minister on one side did welcome the tripartite talks, but on the other hand described the development as “very unfortunate and very bad news for West Bengal.”
Taking Tata's announcement of the relocation of Nano project to any other site, several states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Haryana have offered full support.
However, sources say, Tata would prefer a site that has easier transportation facility and preferably easy accessibility to seaport. Hours after the proving majority in the Legislative Assembly, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren also had offered Tata to set up Nano factory there.
The relocation of project to any other state would also mean increasing cost of the car as company would get it difficult to stick to the one lakh price tag.
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