From drawing board to Singur and to Sanand before hitting the showrooms, it has been quite a journey for Tata Motors’ Nano, the world’s
cheapest car. Here’s how the Rs one lakh car was born.
March 2003: Ratan Tata discloses plans to launch the world’s cheapest car at Rs 1 lakh at Geneva Motor Show.
May 2006: Tata Motors announces setting up Nano manufacturing unit at Singur in West Bengal with initial investment of Rs 1000 crore spread over 700 acres; scaled up to 1,000 acres with total investment of Rs 1,500 crore.
Oct 2006: Trinamool Congress opposes Tata Motors’ plans to set up factory at Singur, calls 12-hour state-wide bandh alleging forcible acquisition of farmers’ land.
Dec 2006: Violence mars Singur, five hurt in rubber- bullet firing. Mamata Banerjee goes on indefinite hunger strike, which was called off after 25 days following appeals from the Prime Minister and the President.
Jan 2007: Land puja offered at Singur car project site
Feb 2007: Police-mob clash at Singur.
Mar 2007: WBIDC signs a 90-year agreement with Tata Motors for Nano plant; farmer commits suicide; mob attacks proposed site; bomb explosion damages fencing
May 2007: Peace talks between state government and Trinamool Congress fail; one more farmer commits suicide
June 2007: CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu echoes Mamata Banerjee’s demand that only 600 acres is required for the Singur project instead of 1,000 acres, but state government rules out returning Singur project land to farmers
Nov 2007: Central forces deployed at Singur after fresh protests
Jan 2008: Ratan Tata unveils Nano at Auto Expo in Delhi; Calcutta High Court orders Singur land acquisition legal
Mar 2008: Nano showcased at Geneva Motor Show
May 2008: Supreme Court refuses to stay Nano roll-out from Singur
June 2008: Singur protesters break factory gate
Aug 2008: Talks between West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mamata Banerjee, who demanded return of 400 acres to farmers, fail. Subsequently, Ratan Tata threatens to exit from Singur. It was followed by Trinamool Congress’ indefinite dharna. Factory workers stay away from work after assault.
Sep 2008: WB Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi intervenes. Agreement signed between state government and Trinamool Congress but it is shortlived. Mamata Banerjee holds rally demanding return of 300 acres of land. Security guards at Singur factory attacked.
Oct 2008: Ratan Tata formally announces pulling out of Nano plant from Singur and days later declares Sanand at Gujarat as the new manufacturing location for Nano at an investment of Rs 2,000 crore
Feb 2009: Tata Motors announces launch date of Nano to be March 23.
Mar 2009: Ratan Tata unveils European version of Nano with added features and complying with Euro V emission norms at the Geneva Motor Show; Nano makes commercial debut.
Mar 2009: Tata Motors launches the Nano in India.