Car-maker seeks clarity on vendor park, continues work suspension.
A day after an agreement was struck between the West Bengal government and the agitators led by the Trinamool Congress to break the deadlock over compensating unwilling land-losers at Singur, Tata Motors, which had suspended work at its Nano factory last week, said it was "distressed" at the "limited clarity" on the outcome of the discussions.
“In view of the same, Tata Motors is obliged to continue the suspension of construction and commissioning work at the Nano Plant. We will review our stated position only if we are satisfied that the viability of the project is not being impinged, the integral nature of the mother plant and our ancillary units are being maintained and all stakeholders are committed to develop a long-term congenial environment for smooth operations of the plant in Singur,” Tata Motors said in a brief statement.
Later, at a joint press conference, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state Industries Minister Sen clarified that a committee that was to be constituted would examine the amount of land that could be given, keeping the mother plant and vendor park intact.
The confusion has arisen because of a mismatch in the interpretation of yesterday's agreement.
The agreement said the government had taken the decision to respond to the demands of those farmers who had not received compensation, by means of land to be provided to the maximum within the project site, with a four-member committee constituted to examine the issue and submit its report in one week.
|SINGUR: WHOSE LAND IS IT, ANYWAY?|
|Land break-up at Singur|
|TOTAL PLOT: 997.11 acres|
|(Including 29.5 acres of water bodies)|
|Tata Motors||645.67 acres|
|Vendor Park||290 acres|
|WBIDC (for rehab of project effected families)||47.11 acres|
|WB State Electricity Board
(for power sub-station)
|Other govt land in the area|
|WB Electronics Devt Corp
(just outside the wall)
(just outside wall)
|Govt-owned vested land in Singur area||100 acres|
Accordingly, the government said it would request vendors to stop work for the week. This prompted Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who is leading the protests, to announce that she would end the agitation at Singur.
But after last night’s meeting, Banerjee indicated that around 300 acres of the 400 acres that she was demanding for unwilling farmers would come from the vendor park and the balance from adjacent areas.
Tata Motors has said an integrated auto cluster with the ancillary units was fundamental to the Nano project. Managing Director Ravi Kant wrote to Sen reiterating this point.
Tata Motors has already lost 16 days of work at Singur and, according to the agreement reached yesterday, there would be no construction at the vendor park before the committee constituted to ascertain the land requirement submits its report. It is scheduled to do so in a week.
A source associated with the project said that this meant the internal target of rollout on October 1 would not be met.
Banerjee refrained from commenting on the company’s decision to continue with the suspension.