Decks cleared for Steel Authority’s first north Indian plant

July 27th, 2008 - 2:08 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Shimla, July 27 (IANS) Decks have been cleared for the state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to set up its first steel plant in north India, in Himachal Pradesh, with an outlay of Rs.1.06 billion, a senior official said Sunday. The state government has decided to hand over land in Kangra district to the Rs.455.55-billion steel behemoth by August-end, industries director Manoj Kumar told IANS.

The government is in the process of transferring the land at Kandrori village near Nurpur town, some 300 kilometres from Shimla, he said.

The proposed plant will be close to Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, and the site was selected with an eye to business prospects in these neighbouring states.

Kumar said a SAIL team had already inspected the site and completed formalities.

Since all of SAIL’s integrated and special steel plants are located in eastern and central India, the Himachal plant will be its first in the north.

Kumar said the plant would provide direct employment to more than 200 people.

Using thermo-mechanical treatment technology, the plant will produce 120,000 tonnes of steel rods, wire drawings and corrugated sheets per annum.

The plant is scheduled to become operational by October next year.

The state government had cleared 18 investment proposals worth Rs.166.6 billion this February which included SAIL’s plant and expansion of the Gujarat Ambuja Cements unit at Darlaghat in Solan district.

Himachal has 38 industrial areas and 15 industrial estates.

The state’s industrial sector received a major boost in 2003 following the special industrial package announced by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government at the centre.

Lured by the industrial package, more than 900 medium and large-scale units have set up base in Himachal Pradesh since then.

Out of these, 623 units have been set up in the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh areas of Solan district.

The present Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state is attempting to get the special package extended to 2013, as announced originally.

The current industrial package will expire in 2010.

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