October 21, 2008

Save Nano Committee to prevent transfer of equipment

Singur (West Bengal), Oct 19 (IANS): Though Tata Motors has decided to shift its Nano plant to Sanand in Gujarat, many people in this rural pocket are yet to come to terms with reality - and say they will prevent the transfer of equipment to the new site.

Those employed as night guards and construction workers, as also members of the syndicates supplying various materials, and youths undergoing training in the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for absorption in the plant and its ancillaries are determined to prevent the company from taking out equipment from the abandoned facility in this town, about 40 km from Kolkata.
‘We want the Tatas to come back. We want jobs,’ said a youth who has been training at an ITI.

‘We want Nano. We have been training for two years. We may have to commit suicide if the factory does not open,’ said another angry young man.

They are part of the Nano Bachao Committee (Save Nano Committee), an apolitical platform for the common people of Singur, syndicate members and people who gave their land willingly for the small car project and those who have undergone training for various kinds of jobs which were expected to flow out of the project.

The committee took out a large rally Sunday from near one of the gates of the erstwhile factory. The rallyists passed through various parts of Singur, including Ratanpur and Kamarkundu station, and then held a street corner meeting on the Durgapur Expressway.

They also blockaded the busy Expressway for about half-an-hour, condemning the Trinamool Congress for forcing the Tatas out of Singur.

‘We won’t allow the Tatas to take out any equipment. If in the process any of those dismantling the factory is harmed, we should not be held responsible,’ said one of the agitators.

On the other hand, the Trinamool backed Krishijami Jiban or Jibika Raksha Committee (KJJRC) also organised a street corner meeting in the evening and burnt an effigy of Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata.

‘He has made uncalled for comments against our leader Mamata Banerjee. We won’t tolerate such remarks,’ said KJJRC convenor Becharam Manna.

In an advertisement splashed in several newspapers here, Tata Friday warned the people of West Bengal of the ‘destructive political environment of confrontation’ that he said the Trinamool Congress was espousing.

Faced with sustained protests from the KJJRC, Tata called off the Singur project Oct 3, and within days announced that the factory would be shifted to Sanand in Gujarat.

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