Tata’s Ace unit drives past licence hurdle

Tata’s Ace unit drives past licence hurdle
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First Published: Tue, Aug 14 2007. 02 13 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 14 2007. 02 13 AM IST
New Delhi: Tata Motors Ltd, India’s largest truck maker, said it had received the go-ahead from the Uttarakhand government to start commercial production at its Pantnagar factory.
This is a temporary clearance subject to a final ruling by the apex court on a issue concerning the state’s pollution control board.
Mint had reported on 7 July that the company potentially faced a seven-month delay in starting operations since the Uttarakhand government had stopped issuing environmental clearance to factories after a Supreme Court order.
“Commercial production of the Ace has started on 11 August,” said Debasis Ray, spokesperson for Tata Motors.
The Pantnagar factory, which has the capacity to produce 225,000 units a year, will make both the Ace cargo carrier and its passenger vehicle version, Magic, said Ray.
Sales of small trucks such as the Ace have grown more than 60% over the past two years as transporters move towards a hub-and-spoke model where light vehicles ferry goods within a city and heavy ones between cities.
The court case behind the problem was a complaint by a former member secretary of the state pollution control board, who told the court that the board was flouting norms after he was prematurely removed from his role. The Supreme Court then put a bar on issuing no-objection certificates (NOCs).
However, after hearing a submission filed by Uttarakhand chief secretary S.K. Das detailing the loss to industry because of the non-issuance of NOCs, the Supreme Court vacated the stay on 27 July, subject to its final ruling on the case scheduled for 1 October.
Sudha Menon in Pune contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 14 2007. 02 13 AM IST