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Plant relocation not in a rush

Calcutta, Oct. 4: Tata Motors has decided against dismantling the Nano plant in Singur in a hurry even as it zeroes in on an alternative site for the mother plant.

The company is likely to decide on the new site in next seven to 10 days. But the relocation process would not start soon.

Sources said the company would wait till matters cooled down in Singur. “The company does not want any backlash during relocation,” a source said. It could take eight to 10 months before the complete relocation takes place, sources said.

Besides the fear of unrest, Tata Motors could also take time to prepare the land at the new location and complete the foundation work before dismantling the plant.

Logistics experts said the relocation process of the small-car factory from Singur to an alternative location would be a Herculean task.

The process will essentially be divided into three parts: dismantling the plant here, putting it on to the trucks and trailers, and carrying it to the new location and then rebuilding it.

The job of dismantling the plant could take three-four weeks, depending on how much Tata Motors wants to ship out of Singur.

The mother plant here comprises three critical units spread over 657 acres — the engine shop, assembly line and the paint shop.

The job of dismantling the plant will be done by Tata Motors itself with the help of technology partners and contractors. “It is important to retain the fitting fixtures while dismantling the plant and machinery. If need be, the sheds can be taken out too but the logistics cost may not justify that,” one expert said.

The cost of moving the plant will run into crores. However, unlike steel plants or refineries, moving a car plant should be easier.

“There will hardly be any over-dimensional cargo like a blast furnace of a steel plant or cracker unit of a refinery. In a car plant, most of the units are in modules and, therefore, easy to ship,” an expert said.

Tata Motors has already shifted some of the critical components from Singur.

Along with Tata Motors, the vendors would also move out. Some of the companies which are bringing materials to Singur from overseas will keep them at the port before a new location is finalised.

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