Tata Motors Ltd., which plans to build the world’s cheapest car, said work on a new factory in India’s West Bengal state would not resume even though long-term protests that halted construction recently ended.
As reported in the Christian Science Monitor, the state government finally reached a compromise over farmland that protesters say was taken forcibly from local farmers to make way for the factory.
While some farmers agreed to sell their land, the communist-led state of West Bengal forcibly removed others as a way to lure new business to the state.
Under the compromise, the government agreed to give farmers more compensation and to return some of the land that was forcibly taken.
Tata planned to begin construction of the $2,500 Nano car in October, but company officials said they would not reopen the plant because of “limited clarity on the outcome of the discussions between the state government of West Bengal and the representatives of the agitators.”
The article said that while industrialization is lauded as a way to get millions of Indians out of poverty, in several cases land taken for factories has become battlefields where industries fight farmers who say they didn’t get fair compensation.
“Nano stalled as India juggles factory vs. farm”
The Christian Science Monitor, September 9, 2008