Production of Tata Nano could be delayed due to land dispute

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Indian carmaker Tata chose a site in Singur, India for the plant that would make the Nano, the world's cheapest car. Not long afterward, eleven petitions were filed in the Calcutta High Court stating that the purchase of the land for the factory violated the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. It was alleged that the government of Bengal forcibly took "fertile multi-crop agricultural land" from farmers for industrial use, which isn't allowed.

Earlier this year, the Calcutta High Court found in favor of the government of West Bengal (where Singur is) and Tata. Now another petition has been filed with India's Supreme Court over the issue, and the Supreme Court has asked the West Bengal government and Tata to respond.

The issue for the moment is that the Nano is supposed to go on sale in October -- but the next hearing over the land use petition won't be held until July. Some suppose a revised land deal might drive up the price of the car. Regardless, if Tata doesn't work out a production alternative, Tata won't get the head start it was hoping for on what could be a huge market.

[Source: Times of India via Detroit News]

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