Singur, Sep 15(UNI) The small car factory of Tata Motors will start functioning by the middle of next year, West Bengal Industries Minister Nirupam Sen today said.
''The factory will be operational by June-July, 2008 and it will produce 3.5 lakh cars per year,'' he said, while addressing a rally here.
Observing that activities centring around the automobile factory would transform Singur into a big city, Mr.Sen appealed to all those opposed to the project to utilise the development opportunity.
''We have to convince those who still have grievances over land acquisition that there is a huge scope of employment. My appeal to all is to utilise the opportunity and not to send any wrong signal outside,'' he said.
The Minister said the state Government had requested the Tatas to open a vocational training centre for the local youth so that they could get jobs in the proposed factory.
Already 3,000 youths, 50 per cent of them having passed school and post graduation, had applied for job.''Are the youths who have passed post graduation supposed to plough the field ? We need factories for their job,'' he said.
The Minister said already a group of women started earning by running a canteen for the project workers while various other self-employment scopes, including tailoring and supplying uniform for factory workers were awaiting the local people.
Commening on the political opposition to the project, Mr.Sen said about 70 per cent of the local farmers had willingly given away their land and collected compensation cheques.
There are legal problems for those who still had not collected their cheques while some other people had been misled, he said.