Ma (Mata) Pities People

Work on the Nano project in Singur may again start, though it has not started as on today. Mamata’s agitation has certainly delayed the Nano arrival in the market. Mamata, as reported has softened her stand. “We want immediate solution to the crisis. We are not against the Tatas.” Mamata urged the state Government not to resort to petty politics by influencing the closure of the factory. “The Government should immediately take steps to begin work at the factory.”

Perhaps the people around Mamata and the pressure from all sides against her fight for her cause in a wrong way made her a little soft. However, Mamata still does agree to withdraw her agitation or her camps around Singur’s Nano plant. She insists that the government must follow her solution.

“The government must return 400 acres of land within the factory compound to the farmers. The government can shift the ancillaries to the large patch; about 500 acres available opposite the Tata Motors factory site on the other side of the Durgapur Expressway and link it to the main plant via an underpass.” Let Mamata understand that Tata Motors may require a lot more of land if the Nano clicks well as expected in market.

Mamata must appreciate what Nano project has brought to Singur and for the people of nearby area, and what potential it holds. Can Mamata imagine the future of this plant if the people, the government and the union leadership cooperate with Tata Motors? Can Mamata think of the prosperity of the area when the plant grows to a capacity level of 1 million cars a year? Can she estimate the employment possibility of a global standard auto plant with many ancillaries having mother plants in West Bengal? Let Mamata and the people around Singur and Kolkata start thinking big. No doubt the credit for this must go to Buddha Babu, as Ratan Tata came to West Bengal only after seeing her honest interest. I wish the trade union wing of left parties could appreciate the significance of Nano Project and don’t create the union offices all around to keep on irritating the management with some or the other issues.

Let Mamata be practical and understand the ground reality that a plant of this magnitude brings.

Lives around Singur are already changing fast. The siege has dampened the dreams. For instance, let us hear Mukund Das, a staunch Trinamul supporter, who owns Moumita Electronics, in Singur Bazar, which sells radio sets to cellphone top-up cards: “On an average, I have been selling cash cards worth Rs 6,000 a day for over a year. The growth in business has been phenomenal. Sales have slumped since the siege of the Tata factory. Business is not even Rs 1,000 a day.” According to Das, everything changed in Singur since the arrival of the Tata plant.

Besides a good number of local employees of Nano plant, the Trinamool-dominated contractor syndicates supplying materials to the factory showed its displeasure with the continuing blockade and threatened to start work from Thursday if the Trinamool Congress chief refused to see reason. Someone told me that these contactors bear the expenses of Mamata’s agitations that were about Rs 2.5 lakh daily.

It all made Mamata to yield and soften. Mamata must stop this style of agitation. She can very well do that before the work on a project starts. She must not blackmail when the entrepreneurs has already put in a major part of Rs 1500 crore and it is fighting to launch the product in 2-3 months with all machine tools and equipment at site.

However, I am still of an opinion that industrial plant designers are to ponder over some innovations that can take the advantages of multilevel operations to cut down the land requirement, more so if the land is fertile for agriculture. Preferably, the government must select and create infrastructure in zones that are barren for use of industries. India certainly has a lot of it.
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Tata Motors pulls out of Singur

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