Tata’s respond to Nitin Gadkari’s pitch for investment in hometown Nagpur, ‘Will coordinate…’

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Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran has responded to Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s letter pitching for investment opportunities in his hometown Nagpur for the conglomerate. “Our teams will definitely be in touch with the Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VEDC) members as we evaluate new investment opportunities across the (Tata) Group,” Chandrasekaran wrote to Gadkari on 19 October.

Gadkari had written a letter to Tata Sons chairman on October 7, which was made public on October 29, following Maharashtra losing out on one more mega project to neighbouring Gujarat.

Gadkari had said that Tata group companies engaged in businesses like steel, auto, consumer products, IT services, and aviation can choose to invest in Nagpur, citing strengths like infrastructure, land availability, and connectivity in his home city.

“All Tata Group companies like Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consumer Products, Voltas, Titan Industries, and Big Basket may enjoy the strengths of Nagpur like overnight connectivity with 350 districts of six states, lower rates of land, manpower, and warehousing,” the minister said in the letter.

Underlining that the group companies have already been present in central India’s Nagpur for over a century, Gadkari told Chandrasekaran that the Tata Group’s airline ventures Air India, Vistara, and AirAsia India can cut costs by making Nagpur a hub of their operations and choosing to park aircraft at night.

Air India already has a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility at MIHAN, Gadkari said, stressing that considering the expansion plans of the group in the sector, more MROs can be considered.

Separately, the group can also look at large warehousing for aviation spares for its own use and also for other airliners, he said.

He said the group can also look at entering container manufacturing, saying supply from Tata Steel is possible in the Nagpur region, which augurs well for the business.

Gadkari said there is over 3,000 acres of land in the Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) SEZ and non-SEZ area, and added that already, a lot of companies have set base in the vicinity.

Chandrasekaran replied saying he has gone through the information in the letter about the various business opportunities in Nagpur for the Tata Group and also noted the availability of both Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and non-SEZ land.

Gadkari had written the letter following his meeting with VEDC and introduced it as a think-tank that will be keen to meet representatives of the Tata Group.

On Sunday (30 October) PM Modi laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing facility for the production of C-295 medium transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force in Gujarat. The aircraft will be produced by a consortium of European aerospace major Airbus and the Tata Group.

The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a delivery centre at the TATA Consortium facility.

The Tata-Airbus project has sparked tension between the Maharashtra government and the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government as the project has slipped from the state.

The opposition has been attacking the state government after a consortium of European aviation firm Airbus and the Tata group selected Vadodara in Gujarat for a 22,000-crore project to manufacture military aircraft. Aaditya claimed that this was the fourth major project for which other states were chosen over Maharashtra. The Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project, the Medical Device Park, the Bulk Drugs Park, and the Tata-Airbus projects were planned in Maharashtra, but have now chosen other states.

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