Calcutta, Nov. 10: The Tatas’ community development work in Singur would generate jobs for around 10,000 people, Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant has told a Bengal Assembly team now touring its Pune plant.
The assurance came at a three-hour meeting last night after the Assembly standing committee on commerce and industries inspected the automobile factory and took a look at the development work engineered by the Tatas around their plant.
The model, the company said, would be replicated in Singur, from where its Rs 1-lakh car will roll out in 2008.
In a written note to the chairman of the committee, Congress MLA Sudip Bandopadhyay, Tata Motors has said: “The Singur plant will initially directly employ 2,000 people and is expected to create employment for 10,000 people among vendors and service providers in the vicinity of the plant.’’
During the meeting, Kant said Tata Motors was looking forward to the opportunity to “revitalise the automobile industry in Bengal”.
The government has assured him that the 997-acre plot, about 40 km from Calcutta, would be handed over after the standing crop is harvested.
“We are impressed by the sort of work the Tatas have done for the uplift of people living in places around their factory. They want to do similar work in Singur. However, we told them that real estate business should not be done on land that would not be required for the car plant and they agreed to it. We also asked them to ensure that farmers are compensated in the best manner possible,” Bandopadhyay told The Telegraph.
Tata Motors officials told the committee that they wanted to explore the possibility of setting up kiosks for vegetable vendors, cycle mechanics, fruit sellers, electricians, carpenters and washermen as part of their efforts to create self-employment opportunities. “If this can be done, local residents would be inspired to supply such goods to employees of the Tata factory as well as those living around the plant,” officials told the committee.
Plans to build a sports complex are also on the drawing board, the officials were quoted as saying.
In addition, the Tatas are thinking of engaging unskilled local residents for housekeeping, gardening and canteen work, Bandopadhyay said.
“We will try to use the services of all those who underwent training for skilled jobs,’’ Kant said.
The Tatas run five schools around the Pune plant and train children in such a way that they can be absorbed in their plant, a Bengal MLA said.
A Grihini Rozgar Yojana has been initiated by setting up 20 community centres, each employing about 400 women. The committee visited four of these centres where women make food packets and glasses and supply them to the Tata factory and nearby areas.
The Bengal team was also shown a model of the dream car. Cellphones were not allowed during this part of the trip so that no member could photograph it.