Create a free Manufacturing.net account to continue

Nano Factory Talks 'Inconclusive'

Talks between a group opposed to the $350 million Tata Motors Nano factory in Singur, West Bengal, and local government officials were inconclusive Friday, officials said.

CALCUTTA, India (AP) -- Talks between a group opposed to the $350 million Tata Motors Nano factory in Singur, West Bengal, and local government officials were inconclusive Friday, officials said.

Partha Chattopadhyaya, a leader of the opposition Trinamool Congress party, which has led farmer protests against the factory, met with West Bengal's governor, minister of industry, and other local officials for over three hours Friday.

"We are heading toward a solution," Chattopadhyaya told reporters after the meeting.

West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi told the Press Trust of India that "the dialogue was useful and held in a constructive spirit."

Another round of talks is scheduled for Saturday.

There was no Tata Motors representative at the meeting.

Weeks of increasingly violent protests by farmers and local political leaders, who want Tata to hand back some factory land to farmers they claim weren't adequately compensated, threaten to delay the launch date of the world's cheapest car.

The company has pledged to launch the $2,500 car by year's end.

Fearing for worker safety, Tata this week indefinitely suspended work at the site, and is preparing alternative production plans.

Suresh Rangarajan, a Tata spokesman, said Friday that the land dispute was a matter for local officials to resolve.

"It's a political matter," he said, adding: "The government has acquired the land and the land was leased to me. The Tatas believe in the process of acquisition the government followed."

He declined to comment on whether the Nano would be launched on time.

More in Operations