Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tata move to win over Singur folks

Statesman News Service
NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, Jan. 13: Having caught the world’s eye by manufacturing the cheapest car ever, Nano, Tata Motors is now planning to win over the residents of Singur by absorbing ITI-trained residents of the area for in-house training at its different facilities.
Tata Motors plans to provide 15-month training to ITI-trained candidates at any one of Tata facilities and it would cover different aspects of manufacturing. The process for selecting qualified ITI trained people is likely to start soon.
After 15 months of training, the trainees will have to undergo a ‘trade test’ by the National Council for Vocational Training after which they would be eligible for employment by Tata Motors or any of the company’s vendors.
At present, about 375 residents of Singur are said to be undergoing training at different ITIs in West Bengal. If they pass the first ‘trade test’ to be conducted by the state government’s department of technical education, Tata Motors plans to take them for in-house training. Sixteen people have already been recruited by Tata Motors for training.
Singur is where the company is setting up its plant for manufacturing Nano for its commercial launch which is likely to take place in the second half of next fiscal. But the company is facing opposition from the locals over acquisition of their lands for the plant.
Meanwhile, work at the site of the chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s dream small car project at Singur, was badly affected as a large number of construction labourers remained absent from duties to join the CPI-M’s rally at Brigade Parade Ground. According to reports, more than 2,500 construction labourers didn’t turn up at the factory site today. Instead, they came to Brigade to obey the instructions of local CPI-M leaders.
Local CPI-M leaders provided five buses to the labourers working in the Singur project site to come to Brigade. The buses were parked near the project site.
“Nearly 2,500 workers participated in the rally voluntarily because they are either sympathisers or cadres of the CPI-M. The work at the small car project site was affected partly. Remaining 2,500 workers attended duty,” said a CPI-M Hooghly district committee member. On condition of anonymity, an official of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation said, filling up of low land couldn’t be carried out due to absence of labourers and a large number of pay loaders couldn’t be operated owing to shortage of labourers.
Most of those who protect the boundary wall of the project site were absent today, said the official.