Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant spoke to reporters on the problems in Singur, the production site for the Nano, soon after announcing the company's quarterly results. Excerpts:
There has been a lot of tension in Singur over the last three days. Will the Nano debut in time?
Yes, there are some elements that are trying to create tension. I think the state government will take the necessary action. Despite all the challenges, we are moving ahead despite and we have not lost sight of the fact that we do want to introduce this vehicle in the market in October-December quarter as already stated.
What will you do to achieve your deadline?
Well, we are trying our best, bending over backwards, working overtime and all that is required to make it possible. Unfortunately, the situation is becoming bad and I think ultimately the people of West Bengal have to decide if they want industrialisation in the state or not.
Tata Motors [Get Quote] has taken a very bold step of going into West Bengal despite advice to the contrary from many quarters. We have put our stake in the ground to make sure that part of the country also gets economic development.
We could have gone to any other part of the country. But we have gone there and it is for the benefit of West Bengal and we have said 'look this is a project that the whole world has a very keen eye on'.
So I would say it is like the right product at the right time, so I think people in Bengal should feel proud that this product is actually going to come out from their state. And it is for them, I think, to built up public opinion on what should be done or not, but if people think that this kind of thing should not happen, then we will see.
How long will it continue like this? What if things don't improve?
Well, we are continuing as long as our patience lasts.