Undeterred by Singur, Jai Balaji group to set up steel plant

September 15th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 15 (IANS) In what should be music to the ears of West Bengal’s beleaguered Left Front government, steelmakers Jai Balaji group Monday described Singur as an isolated incident, and announced its plan to start work on its proposed five million tonne integrated steel plant in the state from November. The group, which is a leading steel manufacturing company in the secondary sector in eastern India, had earlier inked a deal for construction of the five million tonnes per annum steel plant at Raghunathpur in Purulia district.

“Singur is an isolated incident. We are keen to start work on our project in November,” group chairman-cum-managing director Aditya Jajodia told reporters Monday after meeting Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the state secretariat here.

Jajodia said the integrated plant, a cement plant and a captive power plant - to be spread over 3,800 acres, was being set up with a total investment of Rs.160 billion.

The company has already got possession of 800 acres which is needed for the first phase of the project.

“We did not face any problem on the land issue,” Jajodia said.

He said the company would also set up a training centre to train those who sell their land for the project so that they could get jobs in it.

Jajodia’s comments came a few days after software major Infosys rang an alarm bell about the state’s industrial scenario by saying it was having second thoughts about going ahead with its Rs.5 billion development centre in the city following the Singur ruckus.

After Infosys’ statement, Bhattacharjee had been urging the industry not to judge the state’s industrial climate on the basis of the happenings in Singur, where Tata Motors have suspended operations at its Nano factory since Sep 2 apprehending a security risk for its employees.

With the stand-off between the state government and the protesting Trinamool Congress-led farmers over land acquisition yet to be resolved, there are doubts whether the world’s cheapest car will roll out from the plant.

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