Nano arrives on Mamata wagons
Calcutta : The car Mamata Banerjee drove away from Bengal has come back to the state on her railway wagons. On the first day of operations of the automobile logistics unit at Shalimar, the Tata Nano was the largest in number — 96 — among all vehicles that were transported there for dispatch. The unit was inaugurated by Mamata today in the presence of representatives of major automobile manufacturing companies.
The 96 Nanos were manufactured in Tata’s Pantnagar factory in Uttarakhand. Railway sources said the ministry earned around Rs 6 lakh as freight revenue by transporting the car from Izatnagar in Uttar Pradesh. The sources said Ace, a small truck produced by Tata Motors, was also brought in the wagons along with 80 Maruti cars.
The wagons carrying the cars had arrived earlier today. “The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is working with the railway ministry for setting up the hubs and transporting automobiles by rail. Tata Motors, which is also a part of SIAM, is also working with the ministry,” a spokesperson of the company said.
Mamata had launched an agitation in Singur in 2007 against the land acquisition for the Nano manufacturing unit. She demanded the return of 400 acres to the unwilling farmers.
Ratan Tata, who heads the Tata Group, ultimately moved the unit to Sanand in Gujarat.
“The automobile hub in Shalimar was a pilot project and we will set up such hubs with help of SIAM in nine more places. On the one hand, the automobile manufacturers will gain. On the other, the railways’ business will increase,” Mamata said at the inauguration. Her ministry has plans to set up the hubs in Siliguri, Guwahati, Chennai, Pune, Nashik, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, New Delhi and Ernakulum.
“Now 5,000 cars are being unloaded in Shalimar. We are confident that 60,000 cars will be dispatched from this place annually,” said M.M. Singh, a SIAM representative. “At present, around 99 per cent of the automobiles are transported by road. Our target is to transport 25 per cent of the automobiles by rail,” he said.
Mamata today also announced that the takeover process of Burn Standard and Braithwaite was in the final stages. “It will be placed in the cabinet soon,” she said.