Paswan lays foundation stone for Himachal steel project

February 21st, 2009 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), Feb 21 (IANS) Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Saturday laid the foundation stone of the proposed Rs.1.05-billion (Rs.105-crore) steel plant of the state-run Steel Authority of India here, ending the months old uncertainty over the project.
“Using thermo-mechanical treatment technology, the steel plant will produce wire rods, wire drawings and corrugated sheets,” Paswan said.

The plant will come up in Kandrori village in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, some 300 km from here.

The minister added that the steel major would “explore the possibility of establishing another steel plant in Sirmaur for the benefit of the economically backward district”.

There had been uncertainty over the location of the project for the past one year after the state government had turned down SAIL’s initial proposal to set up the plant in Sirmaur district.

The government cited its inability to provide land and power to SAIL in that area, and asked the steel major shift the plant to Kangra district.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was present at the ceremony, said: “We will provide 100 bighas (about 25 hectares) of land (in Kangra) to SAIL for the steel plant.”

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

Industries Director Manoj Kumar said a SAIL team had already inspected the proposed site and completed formalities.

The state government had cleared 18 investment proposals worth Rs.166.6 billion (Rs.16,660 crore) in February last year which included SAIL’s plant.

Himachal Pradesh has 38 industrial areas and 15 industrial estates.

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