Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is ready to roll out the red carpet for Tatas to set up the Nano project in the State. Mr. Deshmukh’s announcement on Saturday came after Tata Group chairperson Ratan Tata threatened to move out of Singur, the site of the small car project in West Bengal.

Mr. Deshmukh extended an open invitation to Mr. Tata to set up the small car unit in the State and said that his government was willing to extend all help for the project in terms of ensuring land and other facilities. He also said the government was keen on the Nano project from the beginning even when Tata had decided to set it up in West Bengal.

Talking to reporters he said problems of power shortage and linkages could be sorted out and would not pose a major problem for the project.

He said the project could be given land anywhere in the State, including the backward areas of Vidarbha and Marathwada which would benefit immensely from such an investment.

The Maharashtra government claims it is the favoured industrial destination, despite several tussles over land in the State notably in Raigad district where Reliance Group is proposing to set up a massive Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Orissa too offers support

Bhubaneswar Staff Reporter reports:

A day after Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata threatened to pull out from West Bengal the company’s small car project, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said they would extend all support if the Tatas came forward with a proposal.

The State government had always given due importance to projects like this as it would help generate employment and augment revenue collection, Mr. Patnaik said on the sidelines of a Chartered Accountants’ conference here on Saturday.

To a query whether they would invite the Tata Motors to locate its Nano car project at Gopalpur, where a vast patch of land acquired by Tata Steel was lying unutilised, Mr. Patnaik said: “If they approach us, we will definitely see.”

Several interests

The Tata Group has several interests in Orissa. Tata Steel, which has proposed a six million-tonne green field steel project at Kalinga Nagar, has been facing protests from people over the displacement. A thermal power project proposed by the group near Athagarh on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar has also triggered protest.

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