CHURUMURI POLL: Should Tatas scrap the Nano?

There are two ways of looking at the news coming of Calcutta that Ratan Tata has threatened to pull the Tata Nano project out of Singur if the violence and disruption continues. One way is to look at it as just desserts for the communists whose cheap political theatrics has been hijacked by Mamata Banerjee; as a sign of the “State” being held hostage by special interest groups where emotive issues such as acquisition farm land is concerned; as a shape of things to come.

The less predictable way is to look at the news as a god-sent escape route. The four-door, four-seat, rear-engine Nano maybe the Tatas’ answer to dreams of families which perilously use two-wheelers. It may mark the emergence of India as a manufacturing power, etc. But the cheap car with suspect safety for that price is an environmental and infrastructure disaster in the making: the clogging up of our roads and cities; the fouling up of our air; the inflating of our oil bill.

Question: Should the Tatas consider the Tata Nano a bad idea, well sold, and call off the project, in the “national interest”? Or should other States start bidding for the Tata project if West Bengal cannot rein in Mamata & Co? And should the Tatas go ahead come hell or high water given the massive investments and prestige involved?

Also read: And Ratan Tata sang, ‘PR kiya tho darna kya’

CHURUMURI POLL: Will you  buy the Tata Nano?

AJIT BALAKRISHNAN: How Nano is different from the software boom

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN: If the Tatas really desire to make India better

SUNITA NARAIN: Will you pay Rs 120 per day to park your car?

SIR MARK TULLY: It’ll be a disaster if India progresses like West

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44 Responses to “CHURUMURI POLL: Should Tatas scrap the Nano?”

  1. Goldstar Says:

    “with suspect safety”

    How many safety tests did you run?

  2. tarlesubba Says:

    they should have stuck to dharwad to begin with. i hope BSY has somebody working the phones.

  3. dodo Says:

    “the clogging up of our roads and cities; the fouling up of our air; the inflating of our oil bill…”

    Let’s call for a ban on new cellphone connections, so that we can enjoy less choking during our calls

  4. Andy Says:

    The idea of dumping Nano production is as original as the Nano itself !

  5. Tarlemaga Says:

    The ruling Commies in West Bengal have got sucked up into the vicious cycle of promoting a polluting Vehicle. In addition they have gone against the wishes of the people from whom they have snatched their ancentral land to satisfy a big Industrial conglomerate.

    Population of the Country around 1.3 Billion and its this neccessitates superior planning related to Public Transporation. The mess created by Fossil fuel has resulted in Health Issues as well. Indians suffer from Asthma,Stress related disorders and Govt spending is only increasing in these areas. Not to mention the amount of accidents which takes place on the streets of our country

    Bengaluru has a population of about 85 lakhs however there are 35 Lakhs of vehicles on the streets. Almost close to 1/3 rd of the population.

    In a Country like Singapore Public Transport is a way of life. Superior Urban planning has resulted in this.

    GDP of the Nation unfortunately is linked to manufacture of these polluting vehicles. The loans are distributed and Insurance companies make hay while the sun shines.

    Capitalists and Communists have realised by grabbing the land from the people they can create an empire of their own. They devise legality into the system to snatch away the land of the poor. Supreme Court in the country supports the elitist industrialist lobby along with the Govt of the day.

    Traffic jams in all our metros has stressed the system too hard. Congestion Tax in all the Metros with CITY limits must be Rs 5000 /day.

  6. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Tata must have been insanely mad to consider a project in W Bengal. With local Devegowda’s like Mamata Bannerji and others that project will never see the light of the day:)

  7. Salty Says:

    The Singur stalemate will probably change the politics of development in India. Critics allege that large development projects have displaced , wiped out livelihoods of & killed a large number of people in India.

  8. Nitin Says:

    The supposed inspiration for the car was Ratan tata happened to see a family of 3 or 4 driving on scooter in rain in the 80s.While it has taken so long market has seen innumerable car makers in India and easy financing. I wish he would have thought of mass transportation ideas instead.

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Nitin,

    I agree but some famous ‘mass transportation’ ideas are among us since 1800s like the Train, Bus and a Beoing 747! :) I think you should lower your expectations on ole Ratan Tata…

  10. Nitin Says:

    @Doddi Buddi
    And car is a idea of the 2000s ?? :-)

  11. Vinay Says:

    Right, West Bengal has too many ‘Bengali Deve Gowda’s’ :-) ha ha, thats a lovely phrase!!

    Public transport is essential, desirable and overdue, no doubt about it. But pls keep the public transport discussions/rants separate from the Tata Nano. The nano is a ‘good thing’, and Ratan Tata deserves a pat on the back for having designed it.

    I personally hope that the Nano will replace all autos on Bangalore’s streets :-)

  12. Tarlemaga Says:

    @ Dodda Buddi and Vinay,

    Ratan Tata has been innovative by bringing in a low cost car, however this innovation is going to add to the mess already created in the market.

    Car’s are flooded in the market like any fuel driven capitalist economy without understanding that we have a Billion people to cater to.

    In a Place like Detroit in US there is no form of Public Transport existing. The Car Lobby has ensured that there is no Public Transport existing. US has turned out to be Number 1 Oil consumer in the World as a result of this mad capitalist agenda. This means that there are a few strategists who decide what the rest of the world has to eat and drink.

    We try to Ape the West and their models cannot neccessarily suit our requirements.

    Imagine 2 Billion car’s in the market where people dont have enough land to live a honourable living. Already clouded real estate requirements do not provide any lung space for greenery. Pollution is all time high.

    Only Bajaj’s,Tata,Munjal’s,TVS,Maruti’s,Ford,GM,Chrysler are benefited. Not the average Citizen.

    If India goes down this path then we are headed for more trouble. More gaps between Billionaires and impoverished.

    Greenery being wiped out … Housing Crisis will erupt..

    I can foresee that we will be very soon called “DIVIDED STATES OF INDIA”

  13. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Facts are:

    In the name of industrialization, grabbing most fertile land by force, caring little for refusal of people whose life depend on that is a recipe for disaster- political, social, and larger issues like food security etc.

    Let industrialists buy land DIRECTLY from people and extablish industries. Many industries have been established in West bengal (in the districts of Bankurs, Purulia) where LARGER investments have been made and industrialists bought land directy from people.

  14. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    And here is one insider story:

    Nirupan Sen, the State Industry Minister, and CPIM Politbureau member, hails from my Assembly Constituency Burdwan which is 50 km west of Singur. CPIM has massive base in the assembly seat.

    But Sen and CPIM will loose massively if he/cpim tried to setup the Nano plant there.

    This is a reality that is known by CPIM. And people think Singur was chosen in the first place because it sent a TMC MLA last time.

    Pressure on land in WB is highest in the world because of many historical reasons (coming of crores of hindus from East pakistan, and then infiltration of Bangladeshis). And people will not sell land come what may.

    People outside the state may not know this. Or even those Calcuttans. But those who are from rural bengal know this very well.

  15. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Also, it shd be clear to people, politicians, industralists that we can’t pursue same industrial approach at every state.

    Every state based on its geography, history, location of raw materials, market etc etc has relative advantages or lack of for any particular industry.

    Large Scale SEZs, big auto plants in the middle of fertile Ganga Valley is not good.

    There are many alternate industries available which does not need large land- those shd be pursued.

    Investments must be made to irrigation to maximize return from agriculture.
    Proper land bank be made based on updated usage of land- so there will be no problem in the future.

    Its a pity that CPIM that is ruling the state for last 3 decades is so unprepared in all these respects. Now, they are using TATA group to brow beat people who lost land.

  16. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Bengalis are lazy morons. Ratan Tata has learned his lesson.

  17. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Anony Guy>>Bengalis are lazy morons

    Lo ! Avoid this type of xenophobic expression- you are suffering from what Sudhir Kakkar termed as “Andulous Syndrome”.

  18. Vinay Says:

    Guys, its not as though Nanos will cause utter havoc on the roads – its not going to be such a horror story, contrary to what most doomsday analysts predict. Similar to the severe hype and noise reg. the “approach roads” to Devanahalli, this “Nano horror story” is being hyped so much that one would think that the world is coming to an end.

    1) The price difference between an “average 2-wheeler” and the Nano is Rs. 70000+, not everyone can afford to shell out that much extra.
    2) Not everyone can afford recurring fuel costs. Believe it or not, there are still ‘middle-class folks’ who would buy only vehicles that offer 50+ km/liter.
    3) Not everyone who buys a car goes for the cheapest option. Maruti 800 sales are down, while Maruti Alto, Hyundai Santro and Maruti Swift sales are up these days.
    4) There are people who will buy a car anyway, nano or no nano. The nano offers them a ‘good deal’.
    5) The advent of such a dirt-cheapcar will actually encourage some people to go for it instead of a mid-size or an SUV. A price difference of 4 lakh+ does cause a rethink.
    6) The nano is actually likely to replace the ubiquitous autos on our streets, and this is undeniably a good thing. Just for timepass, I have spoken to a few auto drivers on their opinion on the nano. All of them said that when they have enough money to buy their own vehicle (most autos belong to an ‘owner’, the driver simply pays rent to drive it), they will buy a Nano instead of an Auto (for obvious reasons).

    That said, yes, there will be additional vehicles on the roads, and there will be more congestion. But it is not going to be a total doomsday scenario. Nothing which cannot be avoided with proper foresight and planning.

    Public transport is essential, good roads and proper city planning are also essential, satellite townships are also essential, rail links are also essential. But don’t make it an ‘either-or’ thing (we need to have all the above, but not the nano). The nano will bring in more benefits than disadvantages.

  19. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Vinay,

    How is a nano better than an auto for short commutes in Bangalore?

    It is undeniably a bad thing to replace a smaller more efficient vehicle by a inefficient more powerful one.

    Most autos now runs on LPG, pollute less, causes much less road wear and tear, has an engine perfect for urban conditions (with is minimal power and top speed), added to its low power its open design prevent it from being used for too many other things, is good for parking etc.

    BTW I remember reading this from an interview with an IIT professor in the civil (or something similar) engineering department who was asked about auto rickshaws being replaced by cars in urban areas as a means of transport. His point was that people were unhappy with the behaviour of auto drivers etc. and generally assumed that the auto is as bad as its driver.

    Imagine giving a bad auto driver a much more powerful vehicle with ability to lock the doors and drive (and do whatever else) at sixer speeds.

    How is anything going to get better by replacing an auto by a nano?!

  20. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Allowing full private participation in the underground rail and any other public mass transportation system is a far better idea than pushing for a fleet of nanos flooding the roads in place of auto-rickshaws as a means of transport.

    This has nothing to do with private ownership of cars etc. – with the coming shortage of oil – that is not even going to be a issue we will need to discuss in a few years.

  21. Vinay Says:

    Anonymous Guy:

    Some of the points mentioned by you are valid. But I maintain that the Nano is better than the Auto for the following reasons:

    1) The auto-rick is an extremely unsafe vehicle. The writer of this article has said that the Nano has “suspect safety”. The nano is going to be released in Europe (a few weeks back the nano was the prime topic of discussion all over here). Western European safety standards and requirements are not a joke. India might not have stringent and mandatory safety regulations, but now I am convinced that the Nano is “safe”.

    2) You mentioned that ‘most autos run on LPG, pollute less’. I do not have statistics, but what I see on Bangalore roads does not bear out the statement that most Autos are non-polluting. But in the absence of stats, I really don’t know. BUT, are you sure that the nano will indeed be more polluting than a Liquid-fuel auto? I personally doubt it, with Euro-II emission norms and all that..

    3) Unfortunately in Bangalore, ‘short commutes’ are becoming a rarity. Have you tried traveling by Auto from ‘Mathikere to Whitefield’, or ‘BTM Layout to Kengeri’, or ‘Banashankri to Yelahanka’, or ‘Whitefield to Devanahalli’? I mean, the ‘Ring-Road type’ of journeys? Autos just don’t cut it. You need to experience it to realize why it is ‘not possible’. A ‘four wheeler’ is necessary for such journeys. Unfortunately, as days progress, Bangalore will tilt more and more towards that path.

    4) Apart from Air pollution, we have noise pollution too, and Autos are the worst offenders when it comes to that. When I sit in an auto and the driver picks up speed from a traffic signal, I sometimes feel that the Auto can put a Boeing-747 to shame ;-)

    5) The openness of the auto can be viewed as a disadvantage too, isn’t it? Even for a ‘short commute’, say, from ‘Hanumanthnagar to Chamrajpet’, at 5:30 PM in the evening, the pollution and other sundry ‘risks’ on the road would prompt me to take a nano, if given a choice.

    6) See, we have cabs, city-taxis, private cars, all without open design. Several cities in India have Fiat Taxis as the standard. It is really not going to cause a ‘spurt in crime’ or anything of the sort by having a closed vehicle instead of the open auto.

    No, it has nothing to do with the fact that ‘since most auto drivers are rascals, autos are bad’ – at least I don’t think that way.

  22. Vinay Says:

    Yes, by all means allow full private participation in underground rail and all other mass transport systems. That is the best thing that can happen.

    And BTW, Tata is also doing some ‘Hydrogen fuel – H2O emitting’ engine research. Hope they get that through soon. Now that would be the best – nanos fitted with ‘Alternative Energy’ engines :-)

  23. Tarlemaga Says:

    Ratan Tata managed to give fresh lease of Death by releasing toxic gases by populating Nanos. Would have appreciated a trifle if he had come out with clear air into which he has already done some amount of investment.

    In addition to give the car @ a low price, he is likely to dole out a large section of the population with the enclosed benefits.

    We are likely to import Uranium in future and we will have Cancer too adding to our nerves. It is common knowledge that about 900000 thousand people have died out of Cancer by working in Nuke plants.

    Our Govt machinary has not spelled out the waste disposal mechanism as yet for the tonnes of Nuke plant . It’s not in public domain as yet. The day you find your neighbour dying because of Cancer you get to know that he managed to eat Vada Pav along with few polluted toxic substances.

    HEALTH EFFECTS FROM FOSSIL FUEL RELEASES

    * Sulphur dioxide (SO2) – respiratory disorders, impaired breathing

    * Nitrous oxide (NOx) – respiratory disorders, infections, pulmonary diseases

    * Carbon monoxide (CO) – fatal angina, various other effects

    * Ozone (O3) – respiratory disorders, impaired breathing, asthma, edema

    * Particulate matter (PM10) – various toxic particle (organic matter, carbon, mineral dusts, metal oxides and sulphates and nitrate salts) effects, main mortality factor due to fossil fuels

    * Toxic substances, heavy metals – specific substance effects

  24. Vinay Says:

    Tarlemaga:

    Do you really believe in everything you write, or do you post these things just to amuse yourself and irritate others? :-)

  25. Tarlemaga Says:

    @Vinay,

    Now that you have asked about myself. I’m genuine in my views. I dont own a car and make it a point to travel by public transport or mass transport. I do use cycle at times.

    It’s not that I dont have the ability to buy a car. I’m a rationalist in my views.

    i believe in strong environmental causes and believe in creating a change and feel not everyone thinks as I do.

    Clean air,water and soil.

    India needs to have a revolutionary co-operative movement. We have seen a few such as sulabh shauchalaya and Amul.

  26. Vinay Says:

    Tarlemaga:

    Your aims are commendable, but don’t you think your figures on Nuclear Power plant deaths, and your vada pav story are ‘funny’. Where on earth did you get that ridiculous figure of number of deaths? Do you really mean 900000 thousand, i.e. 9 X 10e8 deaths?

    All the same, I did some Google’ing on your numbers, just to satisfy myself. What I did find was this:

    http://www.nsc.org/resources/issues/rad/risks.aspx

    A small portion of the text in italics below:


    “In September 1990, a National Cancer Institute study found no evidence of an increase in cancer mortality among people living in 107 counties that host or are adjacent to 62 nuclear facilities in the United States. The research, which evaluated mortality from 16 types of cancer, showed no increase in childhood leukemia mortality rates in the study counties after nuclear facilities were opened. The NCI surveyed 900,000 cancer deaths in counties near nuclear facilities that operated for at least five years prior to the start of the study (the minimum time considered sufficient for related health effects to appear).

    The conclusions of the NCI study, the broadest ever conducted, are supported by many other scientific studies in the United States, Canada, and Europe”

    Check the boldface 900000 above: is that the number the you somehow confused with 900000 thousand deaths?

  27. Shravan Says:

    I believe that the Nano will certainly be more safer than the 2 and 3 wheelers in the country. We can romanticise about the whole family on a scooter and motorcycle, stopping scooters under bridges on ring road or in bus stands on rainy day, but clearly such scenes have to go to history books. There is a need for a cheaper and safer personal transport option which the Nano promises to provide. This is mutually exclusive to having a mass transport system. We need both not one of them.

    As far as the WB and Singur is concerned, If Tatas cannot give a Durga Pooja gift to the nation, Karnataka should quickly act to give a Dasara Gift to Tata’s in the form of an invitation to Dharwad.

  28. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Vinay,

    Your points are all ‘I think so’ type – I dont want to go into argument but :)

    1. The autos power is very low. Its top speeds are also low. A nano on the other hand has much more power. It will definitely be a heavier vehicle with stronger body. While it may be safer for the person sitting inside, it will be a real killer in the hands of our untrained drivers hands. Basically a mini-version of the BPO cabs. Also at the higher speeds, the people inside are no safer. Getting a rating on a crash test has no relevance here, since you are comparing it to a very low power vehicle. And minor accidents the autos are involved again more to do with autodrivers untrainedness, imagine what happens when you translate that to higher powered car.

    2. LPG pollutes less.
    Just do a google search – lots of links with the facts. For example: “The introduction of LPG addresses Lead, smoke, NOx, SO2, CO, and VOC… etc.”
    And a low power vehicle works best with LPG since the efficiency and fuel consumption becomes less relevant when the vehicles get heavier and thus more powerful.

    Also besides that simple math : 200cc will pollute much less than 800cc for the similar engine characteristics. Even assuming inefficient design, is not going to change that much.

    3. There is no problem with any commute in auto in Bangalore. A nano (which you havent seen yet) will probably be a little more comfortable, and faster (do we want more speed!) to sit in, nothing else. At a bigger cost, and less efficiency to all.

    4. Noise pollution I give you that. Is just that the automakers havent been docked by the government to develop the required silencers. It is again a legislation thing – no big deal technologically. BTW what about motorbikes and scooters? Is their noise a big deal. But yes – as it stands now – autos are noisy. Wonder how quiet the nano will be though :)

    5. You will need to keep your window down in the nano. I doubt if an auto-driver driven one will equipped with an AC (and the fuel costs etc.). And anyway how will you avoid the pollution once you get down, live in a bubble?

    6. Yeah the covered thing is no big deal. But I do believe the BPO drivers have shown what is possible with respect to crime in closed vehicles. A low cost nano will make a perfect crime vehicle in the hands of some of our criminal minded auto-drivers (btw nothing against them, just that many criminals take to auto driving since it does not require much background checks and helps them further their activities).

    Again the biggest win of the auto is road wear and tear, proven technology which can be legislated and improved on (see the introduction of LPG gas, better meters etc.), fuel efficiency, less pollution, less power/speed and hence much safer, smaller and better for parking and driving, proven design etc. In general the auto uses less. And given our road infrastructure, there is no way a more powerful car can be any better for our civic conditions.

    Note that I am not against the nano or anything – just your statement about autos being undeniably bad etc. You probably hadnt thought much before making that claim :)

    See Vinay, I used to think the same way as you did. Until I read the interview with the IIT prof. Was in some back issue of India Today or the Week. It stuck in my memory. As expected the interviewer seemed to have gone in with the view that the prof will be for replacing the auto-rickshaw, but the prof factually laid out that it is the best vehicle given our Indian conditions. He also talked about how our feeling for the auto-rickshaw was based on studies and facts and not because of what we ‘feel’.

    Unfortunately the findings of the IIT prof and his interview – I cannot find on the net. Was in the print edition of the mag, not sure if they put up old issues on the net. Another interesting thing he touched upon was how little driving sense or training we have given our bad road conditions, where we actually have to be extra careful. He said something like:
    “We drive automobiles like they are 1000 cc bullock carts”.

  29. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Per passenger the auto will use much less fuel, and pollute much less than any nano.

    For your private consumption – please go ahead buy two or three nanos :)

  30. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Vinay,

    I am excited about fuel cells etc. replacing internal combustion engines which use fossil fuels, but you probably need to read up a little about the feasibility and current trends in hydrogen fuel etc.. Even a michael moore book might give you some perspective on how right now besides being a ‘concept car’ and subject of much spending in research labs it is just a pipe dream.

  31. tarlesubba Says:

    AG,
    I am be very interested in that article.

    Why dont you write in bangalore.praja.in ?

    this what i wrote about autos last year.

    http://www.praja.in/blog/tarlesubba/2007/08/22/bangalore-auto-transit-authority

  32. Anonymous Guy Says:

    TS,

    I also badly want to get my hands on that article again. Was long time ago – an article about the traffic and road conditions in Indian cities. Just remember him being a prof in IIT in some civil engg or automobile or transportation…

  33. tarlesubba Says:

    which IIT? I am guessing Delhi? Must be some prof with the TRIPP.

  34. Tarlemaga Says:

    @Tarlesubba,

    Good article. Kudos to you.

    We need to think about the masses as the Country is burdened with a burgeoning population.

    It’s wish full thinking to state that all the private vehicles owned by Individuals to solve the problem. We need well planned mass transport system and private vehicles need to be heavily taxed.

  35. tarlesubba Says:

    TM,

    thanks man. i dont want to sound like a salesman, but chime in on praja, lot of folks interested in these things. and they have been trying to get in touch with authorities too.

    thing is individualized transport(privT) is not at all scalable for us. at the same time, problem with public transport is it is not individualized. autos are quazi-public/quazi-private. but privT is very resource intensive, land + energy. we cant be using it up all even at our pop levels when we have not even peaked. put it another way, even if energy was cheap a paisa per liter, and had zero emissions individualized transport is unviable for us.

    bangalore is still underutilized. if you do the numbers, we are half the population occupying twice the area of mumbai for example. i know it is counter intuitive, but uber dense cities like NYC and MUM are very very efficient, green even.

    the most often repeated gospel is develop tier two cities. but the problem is currently the most viable options – mysore and mangalore both are aligned to the ghats and or important water sources. actually, you move anywhere south and southwest of bangalore chances are you will starting impinging on hills and water. everything else we have we can reconstruct not the hills and water. check this, totally screwed up water in bangalore…

    http://bangalore.praja.in/2007/09/21/bellandur-lake-i

    why did go from transport to land to lakes? these are all related. literally, everything hinges on what bangalore does with vrushabhavathy and the drains that flow into it.

  36. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    I don’t remember reading any news about Nano’s final price… when every other car’s release gets “leaked” to media it is surprising that we don’t hear anything about this over hyped car!

    But we hear from the media that component makers are up against Tatas and are refusing to supply at a “subsidised” lower cost!

    I feel the WB govt. sacrificed a very viable business(growing four crops a year!) to support to a conspicuously inviable business! At least farmers were paying land revenue, but Tatas were not only provided land very cheap and they get all sorts of tax holidays!

    It is protectionism at its worst!

  37. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Let me make a prediction here:

    WB Govt will be forced to give alternate land to those 2200 odd people who have not taken compensation. Nano will roll out from Singur.

    But, agreeing to compensation after years of struggle by Mamata will be a huge political compromise by CPIM.

    This is problem of CPIM, a Stalinist Party. They always push things too much, rouse rubble, but here to save the admin, state from bugger face loss they will have to give land.

    Delhi CPIM is complete mum. Not a single Left front ally came to support of CPIM. TMC, Congress, BJP all are opposing state Govt. CPIM is fully cornered today ! On the top of this, NGOs, AMAR SINGH visiting Singur on Sunday for blocking the Nano project.

  38. hari Says:

    If the people in Bengal are right in their demand they need to be taken care of. If Tatas were not told of these issues by the government they should be compensated. Though, I am not very aware of the details of this problem.

    As regards Nano, I see it just the way I see Autos, personal cars – big, small, costly, cheap – on the road. There is no reason why we should have so many of them on the road when the option of more economical and safer public transport makes better sense. But then i do not think its a problem with Autos or cars – they are serving the needs of people’s need for mobility. The problem is that people do not have satisfactory access to an alternate like public transport.

    Manufacturers have every right to provide people with what they demand. So, Tata has every right to make the Nano. The problem is that the public administration is not doing their job.

    Eventually, when it gets unbearable on the road, the administration will do what is best for them – ban personal vehicles on certain roads, times and days. LOLz banning is their favorite tool. They do not have the capacity to think through, co-operate and implement solutions. Maybe this is how our society is too? We wait for confrontation but find it very hard to collaborate.

    For, its crazy to see the 1000s of taxis hired by corporates each day, the even greater numbers employed by call-centres. The amount of fuel we burn with our personal vehicles. With so much money burnt its hard to believe that we, as a society, seem not have the finances or will to change the direction ?

    Nano has nothing to do with it really. The problem is elsewhere.

  39. Vinay Says:

    hari:

    Very well articulated.

    Anonymous guy:

    Conflicting opinions abound on the Auto as a Vehicle. http://praja.in/bangalore/blog/murali772/2008/06/14/autos-good-bad-or-ugly

    If I, personally, need to travel from Hebbal to Whitefield, I will never get into an auto. Not sure bout you, but I guess, given a choice, most ppl would not. If there were a metro (for example) on the above route, thats what would be my first choice.

    Me buying 2-3 Nanos now – not a good idea. BUT, me buying 200-300 Nanos if and when I can afford it (maybe my next ‘Janma’), and running them on the streets – very good idea. :-)

  40. captainjohann Says:

    Indians can be FOOLS only if they are permitted to gossip.NANO is an Indian car rivalling in price and best when compatred to the suvs which guzzle gas.mamta bannerjee is funded by whom?General Motors,Suzuki and toyoto who can answer that?

  41. Poli Hudga Says:

    Amazing vibrant democracy India has ….. If the same car is produced by an european or japanese company we say its superb innovation & appreciate it, but when we Indians ourselves do it …. we hypocrites say that its a strain on environment and travel in Air Planes, swanky cars!

  42. Abhi Says:

    <>

    What a ridiculous article! The author must be one of those ‘elite’ indian who drives a car only a little better than Nano. He wants them banned just so that roads do not get crowded in the evening while getting home. What about those majority of the people who have to get drenched in a motorcycle with his wife and 2 kids? or those who travel on the footboards of the bus? Don’t they deserve better? Why should those people sacrifice for someone like the author to get home faster?

    We have a rare breed of businessmen who thinks about common man and built a car keeping middle/lower middle class people in mind. And people are trying their best to stop it with trivial reasons.

    What if the earth gets polluted? Is it nt getting polluted by those big cars driven alone by rich? TATA Nano gives minimum double the mileage of any of those cars. If we have to ban something ban those big cars! Then those supposed elite will keep quite.

    What if the prices of oil goes up? Innovation is driven by necessity. Let the prices go up. Someone will come up with some alternative. Keeping the prices regulated or keeping it out of reach of poor, such as these, are just display of hypocracy.

    Same is the case with infrastructure. People will be forced to have adequate roads when the need becomes so severe. If the govts still do not respond that your problem, not the poors’.

  43. littleindian Says:

    I agree with you Abhi.

    Just another of those bloggers who wants to get mileage for his/her site by publishing his/her own opinion under the guise of a researched article.

  44. Debranjan Says:

    Its disgusting and saddening to see that illiterate woman trample over whatever little hopes we had about a resurgent bengal limping back to progress. Whats worse is she essentially brands herself and her rag tag party as terrorists by aligning with the naxalities, for petty political gains. I hope and pray her party gets clusterfucked during the next assembly elections.

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