In a devastating blow to industrialization efforts in West Bengal, Ratan Tata pulled shutters down over Nano Project in Singur after an hour-long meeting with the Chief Minister Budhhadeb Bhattacharya today. The Chief Minister and the Industries Minister Nirupam Sen assured Tata of providing tighter security, so that they can resume work inside the project without any fear and hindrance.
Addressing a press conference at Taj Bengal hotel at 6.00PM, Ratan Tata made it clear that he would shift his factory to some other State and that 3-4 states are interested in having the Nano Project in their states. He expected to declare the new Nano site soon.
Ratan Tata also thanked the state government for all out support to the Nano project which according to him failed because of the trigger pulled by Miss Mamata Banerjee. He expressed surprise as to the source of the fund mobilized by opposition to block Nano.
He further said, "I came to Bengal to be a partner of industrial development of Bengal and returning with great pain in my heart. It is really painful to take such a drastic step during festive season of Bengal. But we cannot work under threats of bomb being hurled, project walls being broken time and again and workers at the project being intimadated."
Explaining further why they have to take such a decision, Tata said, "As negotiation over last six month failed to improve the situation in and around the project and the Opposition were not ready to see reason, we are left with no alternative, as we have promises to be kept with the market and Nano is to be brought out in time. We would also absorb the persons trained for Tata Nano elsewhere in our project."
He did not hide his desperation when he expressed his business competitors being behind the agitations and funding the Mamata Banerjee led movement with logistic supports.
He assured the people of West Bengal, that this was not the end of his projects in Bengal and that he would come back again when the industrial atmosphere become congenial. He also assured that all ongoing projects in Bengal would have no bearing on the pull out from Singur. He expressed the hope that the cancer hospital being built in Bengal by them would soon be inaugurated.
A crest fallen chief minister described today as a dark day in Bengal’s history.
In protest against the high handedness of opposition Trinomul Congress and Mamata Banerjee culminating into withdrawal of the project, the CPIM has called a 12-hour strike in Singur. The reaction of Singur residents, as broadcasted by a local Bengali TV channel ‘24-Ghanta,’ showed among others, a lady telling the spot TV interviewer, “What the hell Mamata knows about employment. Is she married? Has she ever had a family and children? Does she know that the parents of children want employment for their children?” Most of the people interviewed expressed anguish and frustration at the demise of the Nano project and calling Mamata by names.
Leaders of The Democratic Youth Federation of India, a frontal organization of CPIM also expressed shock at the development and declared a protest day in whole of Bengal tomorrow (4th October’2008).
This writer has time and again telling the readers about the nuance created by Mamata to block Nano, in a range of article published in GR and the worst fears I expressed in my articles came true today. For reference readers may go through my articles listed below.