The decision of Tata Group to relocate their Nano car manufacturing unit to Anand University in Ahmedabad of Gujarat has come as a great disappointment to the people of Karnataka in general and Dharwad in particular.
The region was hoping that the Tatas would select the land being offered by the Karnataka government near Belur off Dharwad for relocating their Nano unit.
While people were optimistic that setting up of the Nano plant would generate employment on a large scale, the farmers who were ready to part with their land were hoping to get good compensation and see the entire region thrive.
Industries minister Murugesh Nirani who owns industries in the backward district of Bagalkot in North Karnataka was keen on attracting the Tatas to Dharwad. He had pinned his hopes on the advantages available to Tatas at Belur off Dharwad.
Tatas already have 638 acres of land in their possession in Belur where they have set up two units - Telcon and Tata Marcopolo. Since they are already enjoying the benefits, everybody thought that the decision to relocate Nano plant here would not be a difficult one.
When informed of Tatas' decision, a surprised Nirani told Business Standard Karnataka was ready to offer all facilities sought by Tatas. "Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had in today's cabinet meeting reiterated Karnataka's decision to offer all facilities to Tatas and had authorised me to talk to them. I do not know what made Tatas decide in favour of Gujarat.
The decision to set up the plant has come without speaking to us. After visiting two sites at Gamanagatti and Belur in Dharwad on Sunday the Tata team had promised to get back to us before taking a final decision. But that has not happened," he said and added that he would speak to Tata MD Ravikant to know what made him reject Karnataka's offer.
The industrialists were eager to see a boom in economic activity in North Karnataka with several ancillary industries getting a boost from the Nano plant. Karnataka government, which is focussing on correcting regional imbalances, was eager to offer all sops to Tatas in a bid to usher in industrial growth in the backward North Karnataka.
Hubli chapter of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed its disappointment over the development. "We had hoped that Tatas would take into account all factors and decide in favour of Dharwad for setting up their Nano plant. It is a disappointing decision," said V P Linganagoudar, president, KCCI, Hubli.