Indian farmers have threatened to resume protests in a land dispute that blocked construction of Tata Motors' new Nano plant if talks negotiated last weekend do not soon produce results.

Farmers unwilling to give up their land had blocked roads and, with backing from the local opposition party, threatened workers, prompting Tata Motors to suspend work at the factory - 90% complete - last week and consider taking the machinery and even some already-trained workers to alternative sites.

Though the state's communist government and opposition Trinamool Congress began negotiations and formed a committee to resolve the dispute, they did suggest work not continue temporarily on the supplier park and Tata yesterday said the situation was not clear enough.

"We have not given up the protests, we have only suspended our agitation," Partha Chattopdhayay, a senior leader of the Trinamool Congress, which has halted protests for seven days, told Reuters on Tuesday. "We are awaiting the report of the committee."

The committee members were meeting on Tuesday to begin a survey of the factory site to try and identify any land that could be returned, the news agency said.

Tata has other factories in which it can build the Nano for its scheduled October launch.

The Nano dispute has led to calls for speedy reforms of a British colonial-era land acquisition act that has hindered several large industrial projects.

Separately, Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Tuesday urged the West Bengal government not to take any step that would disturb the existing agreement over the land.

The Economic Times of India said Tata was trying to pressurise the state government as any changes in the deal would mean Tata Motors compensating nearly INR5bn to the vendors.

Tata Motors has been given INR1.5m per acre of land in the Singur facility and an exit would mean the automaker having to compensate suppliers for land returned to the farmers as recommended by the weekend agreement reached between the governor and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.

The Tatas have sought information on any other arrangement that goes against the integrated nature of the project, according to the letter they have written to the government, the paper said.

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