Thursday, 11 September 2008

India farmers threaten new protests at Nano car site (IHT)

CALCUTTA: Indian farmers have threatened to resume protests that have blocked construction of a factory to build Tata Motors' low-cost Nano car unless talks aimed at resolving a dispute over land bring results soon.

"We have not given up the protests," said Partha Chattopdhayay, a senior leader of the Trinamool Congress, which has halted its demonstrations for seven days. "We have only suspended our agitation."

The West Bengal government has agreed to a land-based solution for the farmers but ruled out major concessions within the Tata Motors site. The factory and its ancillary units were being built on about 1,000 acres, or 400 hectares, of land. About 400 acres, earmarked for ancillary units, are under dispute.
After the first meeting of the committee Tuesday, a member representing the farmers said they wanted to regain land that had been designated for the project area.

"We have demanded 300 acres," said Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a Trinamool Congress leader.
Tata Motors said that separating the ancillary units from the main plant would increase the project's cost.

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