Tata Group company Tata Ryerson Ltd, a major component supplier to Tata Motors’ Nano, is apprehensive that the ongoing protests spearheaded by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee may force a delay in the company’s Rs 100-crore auto ancillary unit at Singur.
Tata Ryerson is nearing completion of its plant at Vendors’ Park in Singur. The company will supply critical components, including the chassis of the “Peoples’ Car.” Tata Ryerson is a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and Ryerson Inc of US.
Sandipan Chakravorty, managing director of Tata Ryerson, said that traffic disruption is leading to a shortage in supply and the company is running the show with skeletal staff. “We fear that if these disruptions continue, our October deadline will be difficult to meet,” Chakravorty said. He added that contract labourers, working for his plant, are facing difficulty reaching Singur. The reported presence of Maoists in the area has also made matters worse. Chakravorty said that almost 95 per cent of work at the unit is complete and the machines have all arrived. “Now it is up to us to install them but that is getting delayed.”
Apart from Tata Ryerson, a clutch of other auto ancillary companies is setting up shop in Singur. Some of them are Sona Koyo Steering System, engine parts maker Amtek Auto, automotive lighting company Lumax, Aurangabad-based Endurance group, Avtec and Kinectic Engineering. All these outfits have announced their plans to set up dedicated plants to cater to Nano.
Meanwhile, work at the Tata Motors’ plant was affected owing to low attendance from contractual workers as Trinamool Congress workers continued to lay siege at the main gate of the plant on the second day of their agitation.
Chakravorty felt that while the world’s eyes are now trained on Singur including those in Detroit and Japan, there are many detractors (auto makers) who would love to see the plant not seeing light of the day. In such a backdrop, the job has become even more challenging for the company to deliver the product from the Singur factory on time.