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Tata Motors may set up small car plant in Bengal

May 13, 2006 05:35 IST

Tata Motors is 'actively considering' West Bengal for setting up an automobile plant.

A day after the resounding Left Front victory in West Bengal assembly elections, Ravi Kant, Tata Motors MD, visited chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to congratulate him and to discuss the proposed project.

Even as Kant cautiously told the media that West Bengal was one of the shortlisted states for its project, Bhattacharjee said the project would come to West Bengal.  Kant said, Tata Motors was now kind of zeroing in on the location but nothing was finalised as yet.

It was understood that Ratan Tata, chairman Tata group, was likely to visit West Bengal and meet the chief minister.

Nirupam Sen, state commerce and industries minister in the outgoing cabinet said Ratan Tata had sent a congratulatory note to the chief minister and expressed his willingness to meet him.

The Tata Motors team led by Kant was visiting different sites in West Bengal for the project. Sen said, a few weeks back the team visited Kharagpur for the company's proposed small car project and today they were visiting Dankuni, Uluberia and Sankrail.

He added they were expected to decide on the project over the next 10-15 days and said that the amount of investment and the plant capacity would be known after the final decision.

Industry sources said that if the Tata Motors plant came up in West Bengal, it would have an advantage due to proximity to Tata Metaliks plant in Kharagpur, which could provide castings and Tata Ryerson, the service centre company, apart from Tata Steel.

Proximity to the companies would help lower  the cost of the project as according to sources the project being considered was the people's car or the one lakh car. However, when asked, Kant refused to mention the specific project.

Sources close to the development said that there had been some discussions for an industrial park to be set up for the project, where the plant and other ancillary units could be housed to simplify logistics.

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