With the Tata Motors fiasco still reverberating across India Inc and political circles across the country,Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal has initiated steps to welcome another automaker by handing over land – this time a foreign one – albeit not for production but for a stockyard.
The move is surprising also as Maruti was gung-ho about land in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat and not much was known about negotiations in West Bengal.
West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has agreed to grant land to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd for setting up a stockyard at Panagarh Industrial Park,about 150 km from here.
“We have agreed to give them (Maruti Suzuki India) 40 acres at Panagarh for their proposed project. Now,we have sent the proposal to the Industries Ministry for approval,” a top official senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The project,which is the second proposed one in the state after Siliguri,is expected to stock a maximum 2,500 cars at a time and cater to the eastern zone,comprising Bihar,West Bengal,Jharkhand,Orissa,and Chhattisgarh.
The stockyard will help Maruti increase the distribution efficiency significantly reducing the time-frame in vehicle delivery.
“We have a proposal for two stockyards in West Bengal (one in Siliguri and another in Panagarh). The Panagarh project has a maximum stocking capacity of 2,500. It is in line with our plan to set up stockyards across the country,” MSIL Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said over phone.
Once operational,the cars would be able to reach dealers in the eastern region in just two days thus reducing the waiting period. The proposed Siliguri stockyard will service the north-eastern region,he said.
The country’s largest car maker is in the process of setting up stockyards across India to enhance its marketing and distribution efficiency and the first one was set up in Bangalore in 2011.
Panagarh Industrial Park,in Burdwan district of West Bengal,is an initiative of the WBIDC spread over 1,458 acres.