As the state government prepared itself to watch the Tatas pull out from Singur, Alimuddin Street mandarins were going through worse.
CPI-M leaders now fear that Ratan Tata may think twice before going ahead with his other two upcoming projects — a cancer hospital and centre for frontier research at Rajarhat and a heavy vehicles factory near Kharagpur.
In February 2006, CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee laid the foundation stone of the hospital. The Tatas announced plans to invest Rs 120 crore and reserve 50 per cent of the beds for the underprivileged. The government allotted 10 acres and it was said that work would be complete by December 2007.
A Tata Group spokesperson told the Hindustan Times on Monday that during his last visit to Kolkata, group chairman Ratan Tata told his officers that work for the hospital should start by March 2009.
In 2006 a Tata team visited Guptamani on NH6 to look for a site for the heavy vehicles plant. The requirement was something around 1000 acres, the same amount acquired by the government at Singur. A Tata spokesperson said the company later decided to set up the plant near Kharagur reportedly in collaboration with a foreign company.
CPI-M leaders are now afraid Tatas may feel that the Opposition will place obstacle before every big project of the Tata group.
The chief minister has also told his party that he received a clear signal from Ratan Tata that he will not start any project if there is political turmoil.