Maharashtra, Orissa invite TATA to set up 'Nano' plant in their state

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Mumbai/Bhubaneswar, August 23 : Maharashtra and Orissa on Saturday invited Tata motors to set up its plant in their State for 'Nano' project that has been in controversy ever since its initiation in Singur (West Bengal), owing to protests over land granted to the motor makers.

Citing the antecedents of the Tatas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that the motor makers are always welcome to avail the facilities of the State.

"We have asked them (Tata motors) that if you are facing problems over there (in Singur) we are ready to give you red carpet welcome. Moreover, we have right to say this as they are from this place. We have told them earlier as well to come here (to set up their plant)," said Deshmukh.

Meanwhile, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also welcomed Tata to set up their plant in the state.

"We will see if they approach us. As you have seen, our state government always welcomes industry, which will bring revenues to our state and jobs for our young people. We always welcome industry and good investment in our state," said Patnaik.

Tata Motors Limited said on Friday that the company is prepared to move a plant to make Nano, the world's cheapest car, from its eastern Indian site if violent protests continued, despite having invested 350 million dollar in the project.

Tata Motors has faced protests and political opposition over the acquisition of farmland for the plant in West Bengal, which have led to cost overruns and threaten to delay the car's launch.

The unveiling in January of Rs. 100,000 snub-nosed Nano was hailed by the state's ruling Communists, but protests have since gathered steam.

Trouble began after the government took over 1,000 acres of farmland for the factory. The government offered compensation, but some farmers with smaller land holdings have refused compensation, demanding that land be given back to them.

Protesters have occasionally tried to stop work at the factory and fought with workers. An engineer had to be taken to hospital after his car was stoned last month.

ANI

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