ArcelorMittal may shift plant to another site in Jharkhand

March 18th, 2010 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

ArcelorMittal Ranchi, March 18 (IANS) ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, may shift its 12 million tonne project in Jharkhand from the previously selected site near Khunti to Bokaro district due to land acquisition problems.
The company has written to the state industries department seeking basic infrastructure in the new site.

“If we get the water and other necessary infrastructure clearance then we will shift the project,” T.S. Prasad, general manager and in-charge of the project, told IANS.

“We have not taken any final decision in this regard. We will shift our project only when we get necessary infrastructure clearance from Jharkhand government for the new site,” he added.

In 2005, ArcelorMittal had signed an memorandum of understanding with the Jharkhand government to set up the steel plant with an investment of Rs.40,000 crore.

But the greenfield project has run into rough weather due to land acquisition problems. The company wanted to set up the steel project in an area between Khuti and Gumla districts. But the villagers are against parting with their land.

Last month, company officials visited Petrawar block of Bokaro district. The villagers there apparently have agreed to sell their land.

“The response of the villagers were positive and we will go ahead to procure land in Bokaro after getting clearance for water and other linkages,” said Prasad.

Industries director Aradhana Patnaik said the company had sent a letter asking for water, among other things. “The state government will look into the request and do the needful,” she said.

ArcelorMittal has sought 70 million cusecs of water from the Tenughat dam in Bokaro district for the new project site. According to a company official, if it gets at least 45 million cusecs then it would start the first phase of the project.

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