Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 14:19 UK

Tata seeks compensation over Nano

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Protests near the Nano factory in West Bengal
Farmers and opposition supporters opposed the Nano plant at Singur

India's Tata group says it will hand back land where it planned to build the world's cheapest car - but only if the government gives it compensation.

Tata planned to build its Nano car in West Bengal state but moved production to Gujarat last year after protests over land earmarked for the plant.

Tata chief Ratan Tata told journalists in Calcutta he did not want to stand in the way of development in West Bengal.

He added: "We will obviously seek to be compensated for what we developed."

He did not say how much compensation he was seeking.

Mr Tata said his group had no projects lined up for Singur at the moment, but made it clear Tata was willing to give up the 998 acres of land it has there.

"We don't want to stand in the way of the industrial development of West Bengal," he said.

Chairman of India"s Tata Group Ratan Tata arrives at the Tata Steel"s annual general meeting in Mumbai on August 27, 2009.
Mr Tata would not comment on a proposed locomotive plant

"We are hit by the economic downturn. If the state government has lined up something, we will hand over the land."

When asked whether he was aware that Indian railway minister Mamata Banerjee wanted a locomotive plant to be built at Singur, Mr Tata refused to comment.

Ms Banerjee - whose Trinamul Congress party fiercely opposed the Nano project - says the proposed locomotive plant would need 600 acres.

The remaining 400 acres would be handed back to peasants who are unwilling to part with their land.

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