Nano hope for pandal hop

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By SOHINI MOOKHERJEA
  • Published 21.02.08
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Singur, Feb. 20: You may consider squeezing a Nano into your Puja shopping list this year, if the elements behave.

The Rs 1-lakh car will roll out of the Singur factory by October this year, Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant announced on his maiden visit to the site.

“Commercial production, that is, the real thing, will come sometime in October — around Durga Puja time,” Kant said. The Pujas this year fall in the first half of October.

“We are happy with the work so far. We will try to finish everything before trial production which we expect to begin in June/July this year. Regular production will start maybe a month or two later.”

Kant added that the company was sticking to the launch in the second half of the next financial year and denied that an April date was considered.

The Tata official arrived in a 12-car convoy from the airport around 11.30am and visited each of the eight sheds, remaining on the site for three hours.

Girish Wagh, the leader of the Tata Motors engineers who built the Nano, also came down with the managing director. Along with other officials, Wagh took Kant around the plant.

Although pleased with the work, the Tata Motors chief said certain challenges still existed.

One challenge — rain — made its presence felt when the team was in Singur. The officials were caught in a hailstorm for 15 minutes, which brought back memories of last year’s flood that prompted the flooring to be raised.

“Suppose we have rain for the next five to six days... it is a low-lying area. We are trying to see what can be done. We require a lot of lifting of the floor, a lot of earth filling; dredging of the canal and power supply,” Kant said.

“We are all working together — Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Tata Motors and the Bengal government — seeing things and putting an action plan to ensure that initial production is not hampered. Equipment is now beginning to come and we will start putting it up. We do hope that things go on, barring unforeseen circumstances like the rains we had,” he added.

Kant has an idea of what happened last year during the rain as he had been sent pictures.