Michelin India Project a Step Nearer to Realisation
Objections to Michelin’s Rs 40 billion (£530 million) greenfield factory project in Tamil Nadu, India have been overruled by the Madras High Court. On May 26 the court ruled against an environmentally based petition instigated by a local villagers’ association, stating that the need for employment and investment must take precedence.
The company is in the process of securing a 1,127-acre site on land the local Dalit community views as grazing land essential to their livelihood. However after hearing the association’s arguments, the Madras High Court bench decided that, considering the projects significance, the realisation of such a project would benefit the wider community. “You are right about environment protection but it cannot be done by stalling a project. There cannot be any progress in a country then,” the bench commented.
A February 2009 start date was originally anticipated for the project that will reduce Michelin’s dependence upon imported radial tyres in India. The construction of the Michelin plant will add the French manufacturer’s name to the list of global players possessing production capacity in this land: Goodyear has operated a facility in India since 1961 and Bridgestone since 1997.