Sanand (Gujarat), Oct.11 : The ultra-small car Nano, which is being brought out by TATA Motors, is once again in troubled waters in Gujarat after some farmers voiced their discontent over the compensation offered against their land.
Days after a farmers'agitation in Singur, West Bengal, led to the TATA Group withdrawing its Nano project from the state, farmers' in Sanand are having second thoughts.
They have started speaking almost the same language as the farmers in Singur, especially about land rights and compensation.
"We are not in the mood to go against the government.We are not in a mood to approach the high court. But, if the Gujarat Government will not consider our request in time, we will have no other alternative than to approach the honourable court," said Jeetsinh Vaghela, a farmer from Khoda Village.
Located on about 1,100 acres of land, the proposed plant near Ahmedabad presently will have a capacity to produce 250,000 cars. This can be doubled to 500,000 cars per year at a later stage.
Some farmers are optimistic about the project's future.
"With the Nano project arriving in our village, it is good for us. Employment will increase, the cost of land will go up and not only our village but also the neighboring villages will also gain from this. But the issue of farmers regarding compensation is to be settled by the government. Farmers do not want their land back, they only want proper compensation,"said Bhiku Bhai Barad, a former village counsel.
The Nano plant, its vendor facilities and other services, will together generate more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. If the protests grow louder, the opportunities could be at stake.
TATA Motors, which had also received offers of land from states including Karnataka and Uttarakhand, has said eventual demand for the Nano, which is expected to be priced at just above 100,000 rupees, would be about one million units.
Dubbed as the "people's car", it was unveiled to a rousing reception in January and encouraged others, including Renault/Nissan, Ford Motor, General Motors, Toyota Motor and Volkswagen to follow suit by announcing plans for low-cost cars.