No return to Singur, says Ratan Tata

Putting a final lid on speculation that Tata Motors may return to the land at Singur in West Bengal that it had acquired for its ultra-cheap Nano car project, Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata todayu said that the company was ready to return the land to the state government for a suitable compensation.

Tata had said earlier this week that his company was willing to return to West Bengal if conditions were favourable (See: Tata defends acquisition of Jaguar, Land Rover). However, today he ruled out any further investment in the Singur plant.

"We do not wish to sit on the land for an indefinite period and we are willing to co-operate with the state government if any proposal suits us," Tata told reporters on the sidelines of a shareholders' meeting of group company Tata Tea in Kolkata.

"We are willing to transfer the land to the state government only if they compensate us with the investment we have made on the ground," Tata clarified. He is scheduled to meet the state's industries minister Nirupam Sen today.

Tata Motors had invested about Rs1,700 crore in the Singur project, for which it had acquired around 997 acres of land. But it was forced to pull out last October following protests by farmers who lost land to the project.

The protests, which led to much violence, were spearheaded by the Trinamool Congress, whose leader Mamata Banerjee is now a union minister. Tata Motors has since re-located its Nano factory to Sanand in Gujarat.