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Not Nano, 'heavy' Tata Investment For Punjab Likely


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CHANDIGARH: Not a compact Nano for the opulence-crazy sedan lovers of Punjab. But a truck - the macho icon hooting past Punjab's vast network of roads - may soon be rolled out from Tata Motors' to-be-announced facility in India's cereal bowl.

The decision to make trucks in Punjab was announced after Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, who took over the group's reins from Ratan Tata in December last year, flew to Chandigarh to meet chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday.

The heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) plant is likely to come up in Bathinda, the new industrial hub that had seen the inauguration of Rs 21,000-crore refinery by the steel-tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal last year.

The initial capacity at the plant would be anywhere between 40,000-60,000 units of HCVs a year. The vehicles would be of 20-tonne to 49-tonne capacity and range from goods carriers, heavy duty trucks to bulkers and trailers. Punjab government's industries department, however, said the project cost, including land allocation, would be decided once the company sends its expert team to the state.

"A team of senior executives will be visiting Punjab next month. The team will study different locations. At this stage, we can say that we are in full talks with the company to use their expertise in auto and IT," said Karan Singh, principal secretary, industries.

Singh said Mistry also talked about his company's plans to utilize solar power in the farming sector. "Punjab has the largest canal irrigation system and the space over these canals could successfully be utilized to set up solar power units," he added.

Sources close to the chief minister said Tata group was also likely to make Rs 100-crore investment under public-private partnership mode through their town services company JUSCO (Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company) to provide water supply and sewerage facilities, as part of urbanization drive in Punjab.

Later, Mistry, who was on his maiden trip to the region, also met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and announced that the group would construct two lakh houses for the poor, besides offering help on agriculture.


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