PM to visit Bokaro steel plant in Jharkhand

April 21st, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ranchi, April 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will Tuesday visit Jharkhand to lay the foundation stone of the Rs.110 billion expansion and modernization project of the Bokaro Steel Plant and will also visit the steel city of Jamshedpur to plant a banyan tree. The capacity of Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL), which produces 4.5 millions tonnes of hot metal, will go up to 7.44 million tonnes after expansion. Its crude steel production also will go up from the present 4.36 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes. The prime minister will also lay the foundation stone for a cold rolling mill and a steel melting shop.

The BSL expansion plan is part of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL)’s expansion plan to increase production to 26 million tonnes by 2010.

Later, Manmohan Singh will visit the steel city of Jamshedpur, where he will plant a banyan tree. He has dropped the plan of online inauguration of the Centenary City Centre of Tata Steel. The inauguration was dropped after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Jamshedpur Raghubar Das shot off a letter to the prime minister requesting him not to inaugurate the centre due to a land dispute.

The land where the city centre is proposed was leased to Tata Steel for industrial purpose. The BJP legislator has alleged that Tata Steel was trying to change the nature of the land lease by opening a city centre. “Tata Steel was given the land for industrial purpose. How can it now be used for commercial purposes?,” asked Das.

The BJP has also decided to hold a black-flag demonstration during the prime minister’s visit to show their opposition to the mining policy. “The new mining policy will hurt the interests of the mining states. Five states with minerals have opposed the new mining policy and the central government did not consider their request,” said Arjun Munda, former chief minister and a BJP leader.

Heavy security arrangements have been made for the prime minister’s visit. Aerial surveillance will be mounted at Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro during the prime minister’s visit. A Special Protection Group team is reviewing security arrangements at the three places.

The state police are also reviewing the security, for which elaborate arrangements have been made at the Birsa Munda airport at Ranchi .

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