If anyone knows how to find gain in loss, it’s Mr. Ratan Tata. After unfortunate circumstances compelled Tata motors to leave West Bengal, the Tata’s Nano project quickly found a home in Gujarat and is on its way to completion.
On Tuesday it was announced that Gujarat would now be the site for a plant that will manufacture Tata’s latest brainchild: the Nano. Events occured at a fast pace as Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and Mr. Ratan Tata met in the morning, and a few hours later, the deal was finalized; it was formally announced that the Nano plant would be set up in Gujarat. 1,100 acres of land were allotted for the project, at Sanand, twenty kilometers from Ahmedabad making the plot 100 acres larger than the one at Singur. The Nano is now set to roll out from Gujarat.
The Nano is touted as Tata’s dream project: a 623 cc car with the capacity to seat four, costing just 1 lakh rupees, indeed, the world’s cheapest car. The launch of this car will enable many who could hitherto only afford two wheelers to purchase a family car. Its journey till now, however, has been far from smooth, and this small car has had a large share of troubles. On May 18th, 2006, Tata announced the site of their project as Singur, a small town in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. This move was expected to bring investments and industrialization to West Bengal, which had a largely agrarian economy and CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee hailed Tata’s arrival with great enthusiasm. It looked like the Tata dream would soon be fulfilled, but this was only the calm before the storm. Trouble was approaching, and quickly. Farmers were unhappy about giving up their land for the project and were dissatisfied with the compensations offered. Trinamool Congress Party head, Mamata Bannerjee took up their cause, and began an indefinite hunger strike. The Nano project got tangled in a messy web of vote bank politics and political mud slinging. As work commenced at the plant, protests turned violent. Mobs began to torch the fencing of the factory, the factory gate was broken open, and there were reports of workers being attacked on their way to the plant. Work on the plant was suspended, and the drama continued. Nano threatened to pull out and as the drama continued, he stuck to his word. On the 3rd October,2008 it was announced that Tata Motors would leave West Bengal. The Nano dream was deferred and it incurred a large amount of monetary loss as well. West Bengal too lost out on a huge amount of investments and employment opportunities that this industry would create. However, in all this, it was the common man which suffered the most, be it the farmers who had to give up their land, something which, in their opinion, money could not make up for, or those who gained employment at the Nano plant, which they lost all too soon.
The Nano didn’t have to stay homeless too long, as the minute Tata threatened to pull out of Singur, several states had rushed to welcome him with open arms, including…………. Needless to say, Gujarat was the lucky winner. Mr. Ratan Tata stated Narendra Modi’s sincerity and commitment for making his state investor friendly made him chose this state. Moreover, the Gujarat deal was a fast track one, as it took just about ten days to fulfill all the formalities and make the land ready for possession. The project is underway once again, and the Tatas will try to stick to their original deadline, which will be sometime around the close of this year. These cars will be manufactured by the other plants of the Nano, in Pune and Patna. Things seem to be looking up for the Nano and Mr.Ratan Tata again. We wish them and all the best, and let’s hope the Nano has finally settled down.