New Delhi: Tata Motors Ltd is scripting the last chapter of its long-running battle in West Bengal. The company has begun its pullout from the Nano plant in Singur.
The official announcement on the pullout is expected within the week.
West Bengal government sources told CNN-IBN that Tata Motors have given up on the project.
According to sources, Tata started moving equipment and plant parts from the site to an undisclosed location 10 days ago. Vendors to the Singur plant have also moved their equipment.
Sources say that both the state government as well as Tata Motors feel that the project cannot take off in Singur, given the strong opposition from Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.
The pullout is expected to take some time, but sources say that around 1,000 cars will roll out from the Tata Motors Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand by mid-October.
Meanwhile, Karnataka, Maharasthra and Haryana are now the frontrunners to anchor the mother plant.
Reacting to Tata’s reported pullout, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said, “If this happens then this is going to be a huge loss for the West Bengal government in terms of employment opportunities.”
On Tuesday, two security guards – SN Sarkar and Ajit Kumar – were attacked inside the Nano plant in Singur, inspite of police presence.
A mob attacked these guards with iron rods and sickles. While Ajit suffered severe internal injuries in his head, Sarkar's wounds were patched up at the local healthcare centre.
There has been no work at the troubled plant – planned to build the world's cheapest car – since local farmers backed by the Opposition Trinamool Congress laid siege to it on August 24.
Bengal govt: Not in the driver’s seat
The West Bengal government last week had ruled out any further sops on the Tata Motors issue, and said the stalemate could be resolved only if the Opposition accepted the latest compensation package it has announced.
"A solution can be found only if the opposition accepts the package made public on Sep 14 and based on the dialogue between the government and the Opposition in the presence of the Governor (Gopalkrishna Gandhi)," Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had said in a short statement.
After a long meeting with Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi at the Raj Bhavan last week, Mamata told reporters that her party wanted a solution “in the interest of the people and the state" and asked the government to implement the September 7 agreement reached between her and Bhattacharjee for a land-for-land solution.
Mamata, who had earlier threatened to go on the warpath from any day after September 19, said after meeting the Governor that if necessary her party was prepared for more talks with the government.
Timeline: The Nano saga till now
May 18, 2006: Tata group chairman Ratan Tata announces small car project at Singur, 40 km from Kolkata, on the day when Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was sworn in the state's chief minister.
May 25: Angry demonstrations by farmers over "forcible" acquisition of land for the Tata car project.
May 26: Former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu criticises Bhattacharya for mishandling issues pertaining to the acquisition of land for Tata project.
July 18: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sows paddy near Tata factory site to protest "forcible" acquisition of land.
Aug 25: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) warns that Singur developments may force industry to shift projects to other states.
Sep 25: Banerjee breaks down, says police assaulted her in Singur and shows bruises and tattered clothes to media.
Oct 2: Bhattacharya calls for all-party meeting on Singur.
Oct 9: West Bengal crippled by 12-hour shut-down called by Trinamool Congress.
Oct 27: Save Narmada activist Medha Patkar holds meeting near Tata Motors factory over "forcible" land acquisition.
Dec 2: Singur on boil as hundreds of farmers join protests, even as Patkar is arrested by state police.
Dec 3: Protests intensify; Banerjee begins indefinite hunger strike.
Dec 7: Patkar meets then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam over Singur.
Dec 15: Former prime minister V P Singh meets Banerjee, asks her to end hunger strike.
Dec 21: Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi asks Banerjee to withdraw fast that enters 18th day.
Dec 26: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sends Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi as emissary to Banerjee.
Dec 27: Ratan Tata says no pulling out of Singur.
Dec 28: Banerjee breaks 25-day fast.
Jan 4, 2007: Tatas select first batch of trainees for Singur project.
Jan 10: Singur-bound Patkar detained by police in Kolkata.
Jan 11: Patkar released, but says she will return to Singur.
Jan 21: Tatas start work at Singur, women torch factory fencing.
Feb 4: Fresh violence at Singur, ahead of Trinamool Rally.
Feb 6: Ratan Tata says clear evidence of rival hand in Singur.
Feb 14: Kolkata court says prohibitory orders in Singur is misuse of power.
Feb 15: Bhattacharya holds first public rally at Singur, swears by Tata project.
Fen 23: Calcutta High Court slams state government over method adopted for Singur land acquisition.
March 9: Tatas and state government ink Singur land deal lease.
March 12: Farmer Haradhan Bag, who was unwilling to part with Singur land, commits suicide.
March 16: Mob attacks Tata Motors' factory fencing at Singur.
March 18: Explosion outside Tata Motors' factory damages fencing.
March 25: Five guards at project site injured during clash with protesters.
May 24: Peace talks between state government, Trinamool fail.
May 25: Singur simmers as another farmer, Prasanta Das, commits suicide.
June 4: Basu says car project does not need more than 600 acres; 997.11 acres were acquired for project and ancillary units.
June 14: State government rules out returning Singur project land to farmers.
July 2: Jobless Singur farmer commits suicide.
Sep 18: Tatas appoint first batch of 17 Singur youth after training.
Nov 12: Central Reserve Police Force deployed at Singur after fresh protests.
Dec 2: Trinamool Congress holds major rally to mark one-year of agitation.
Jan 10, 2008: World watches in awe as Tatas unveil name for small car, say Nano will cost Rs.100,000/$2,500, excluding taxes. Singur protesters burn Nano replica.
Jan 16: Tatas give jobs to 80 displaced farmers.
Jan 18: Calcutta High Court says Singur land acquisition legal.
Feb 15: Tatas announce Nano roll out by October.
May 13: Supreme Court refuses to block roll out of Nano from Singur.
May 21: Trinamool Congress wins majority in Singur self-governance institutions.
June 27: Singur protesters break Nano factory gate at Singur.
Aug 7: Banerjee says she is willing to talk with Tatas on Singur impasse.
Aug 18: Bhattacharya invites Banerjee for talks.
Aug 19: Banerjee says 400 acres must be returned to farmers.
Aug 20: Talks between state government, Trinamool Congress fail.
Aug 22: For the first time, Ratan Tata says Nano will move out of West Bengal if violence at Singur persists.
Aug 23: Indian industry begins rallying behind Tata Motors factory at Singur, says continuing protests will tarnish state's image.
Aug 23: Several states, including Haryana and Maharashtra, ask Tatas to relocate Nano factory to their territories.
Aug 24: Trinamool Congress begins indefinite stir at Singur.
Aug 26: Bhattacharya says acquired Singur land for Nano cannot be returned.
Aug 27: Several industrialists, including Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, back Tatas on Nano project.
Aug 29: Nano factory workers stay away from work.
Aug 31: Trinamool Congress delegation meets Governor Gandhi over Singur, who suggests mediator to resolve impasse.
Sep 2: Cricketer and West Bengal's sports icon Saurav Ganguly bats for Tatas.
Sep 3: Tatas suspend work at Singur, say alternative sites being examined.
Sep 3: Governor Gandhi plays mediator; state government, Trinamool Congress agree to meet him to end stalemate.
Sep 4: Ratan Tata says all possible steps being taken to roll out Nano as scheduled; Gandhi holds preliminary talks for reconciliation and says formal talks on Friday, Sep 5.
Sep 7: Governor Gandhi mediates talks between Bhattacharjee and Banerjee, agreement announced late night.
Sep 8: Tata Motors says it would continue suspension of work in Singur. "Tata Motors Ltd is distressed," the company says in a statement.
Sep 24: Tata begins pull out from Singur, says government sources.