Bengal may offer Singur land to Chinese firm

Bengal may offer Singur land to Chinese firm
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First Published: Wed, Nov 05 2008. 12 49 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Nov 05 2008. 12 49 AM IST
Kolkata: The West Bengal government is going to showcase Singur land before the First Automobile Works Limited (FAW), the Chinese automobile manufacturer, which was in Kolkata today. The company Vice President Rendian Sheng met chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee at Writers’ Buildings today and expressed interest in opening an automobile manufacturing unit in the state in collaboration with Ural India Limited, which already has a footfall in the state in heavy truck and vehicles manufacturing.
FAW, the biggest car manufacturer in China produces 20 lakh cars every year. They have worked in collaboration with Mazda, Toyota, Audi, Valkswagen and have expertise in small cars, buses, omnibus and heavy vehicles.
The company has asked for 600 acres of land and the state government is considering to display the 645 acres of Singur land, where Tata Motors Limited was supposed to set up its mother plant. The state government has leased out 997 acres of land to the Tata Motors Limited, out of which 645 acres was reserved for the mother plant and rest for vendors park for automobile parts.
Since the state’s main Opposition party Trinamool Congress is not demanding land from the mother plant, but from the 230 acres allotted for ancillary units, the government feels that it would be safe to show the Singur land to the Chinese manufacturer. The Trinamool Congress had launched a massive agitation in demand of return of 400 acres from within the Tata’s project site, which was responsible for the latter to move out of Bengal.
The state government is hopeful that FAW’s requirement of land will not overlap with the Opposition’s area of contention.
However, at the same time the government has lined up back-up lands and has proposed land in Kharagpur, where it is planning an automobile park, and land in Kalyani in North 24 Parganas. A team of FAW members would be taken around these places in the next few days.
If FAW prefers the Singur land, the government would tell them about the ground reality, the political turmoil and would inform them that they would have to wait till Tata Motors Limited dismantles the construction and clears the ground.
FAW will form a joint venture company with Ural India Limited, the Indo-Russian joint venture company, and will kick-start its factory by manufacturing trucks, buses and minibuses.
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First Published: Wed, Nov 05 2008. 12 49 AM IST