In the News

In the News:
Ford in Kolkata

submitted by Madana-mohana das
reprinted from The Times of India

Posted March 18, 2004

Ford on Iskcon tourism mission (02/18/04)

KOLKATA: He's every bit a Ford. Nearly three decades after joining Iskcon and being re-christened Ambarish Das, the illustrious surname sticks.

Alfred Ford, great grandson of Henry Ford, may not be at the helm of Ford Motor Co, but he still feels a tingle every time he sees a Ford. "It feels great to see them in India . It's an important market for the firm and it would be nice to see Ford a major player here," he said, hinting at the desire to see Ford India join the leaders.

Ford is in Kolkata on a fourday India trip to hold talks with industrialists and the state government to transform Iskcon headquarters Mayapur into a global tourist attraction. He will meet S.K Roy of Peerless, Harsh Neotia of Bengal Ambuja, Y.C. Deveshwar of IT and Sanjeev Goenka of RPG Enterprises.

"The meeting will revolve around the Rs 600 crore Vedic planetarium project at Mayapur," the director of the Mayapur Fund-Raising Campaign said. Ford has pledged $10 million for the construction of the planetarium, a guesthouse and theme parks.

Ford will meet chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and discuss the possibility of the state's participation in the project through investments in infrastructure development. He will take up the issue of poor road link between Kolkata and Mayapur.

"The condition of the road is not conducive for travel," he commented. While he is hopeful of the chief minister's help in making the ride to Mayapur smoother, alternatives including a tie-up with Subrata Roy's ambitious Sahara Parivar Sunderbans project.

"River transport used to transport eco-tourists to Sundarbans can also be used for going to Mayapur," Iskcon officials said.