Tata Motors' Singur plant by next year: Ravi Kant
Kolkata, Mar 15: Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant today ruled out any plan to shift the proposed small car manufacturing unit from Singur following sustained protest by a section of local farmers.
"We are not perturbed over any such protest and are working very hard to start the project on time by next year," the MD told newsmen on the sidelines of a national seminar on the growth of Indian automobile sector, organised under the banner of the Federation of Automobile Dealers' Associations(FADA) here.
Reiterating that the Rs 1500 crore project on about 998 acres of land at Singur in Hooghly district would be completed 'as per schedule', Mr Ravi Kant said in fact they were 'working very hard' to meet the deadline for starting commercial production by the "middle of next year".
Asked whether Tata Motors was facing any obstacles in carrying forward the construction work after overcoming 'teething problems' like opposition from a section of farmers, Mr Ravi Kant hoped that things would continue to move smoothly.
When reminded about his earlier observation that Tata Motors was facing absolutely no problem at Uttarakhand, where the company was setting up its 2,50,000 capacity small truck manufacturing unit, vis-a-vis, the company's Singur project, he said he was not aware of any major hurdles here.
Asked to comment on yesterday's police firing at Nandigram which claimed 14 lives, Mr Ravi Kant said, "The Tata Motors has nothing to do with it." Earlier, addressing the seminar, he called upon other major automobile manufacturig companies to take advantage of the industrial resurgence in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal, and set up their units to meet the increasing demand.
"Like on all previous occasions Tata Motors has taken the initiative and is setting up the small car unit in West Bengal," he said and hoped that other major manufacturers would soon follow with a number of ancillary units.
Referring to Tata Motors' future growth plan its Managing Director said apart from having three plants at Jamshedpur, Pune and Lucknow, the company was setting up two greenfield projects in Uttarakhand and in West Bengal. Tata Motors was also setting up a number of assembling units in a number of countries, including one each in Thailand and South Africa with an investment running into several thousand crores.
He also stressed the need for developing a well-knit network of distributors to serve the customers better and in a more meaningful manner.
Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty, who inaugurated the seminar, announced the setting up of a 46 km-long elevated ring road in and around Kolkata which would be a first in the world. It would come up within the next three to four years to avoid traffic congestion in this eastern metropolis.
"The state received the green signal from the Union Government yesterday," Mr Chakraborty said.