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Tata Steel To Start Work On 6-million-tonne Orissa Plant

Published by MAC on 2006-05-11

Tata Steel to start work on 6-million-tonne Orissa plant

Express News Service

11th May 2006

Project ran into controversy after police shot dead nine tribals in January

MUMBAI, MAY 10: India's largest private sector steel firm Tata Steel said it will start construction of its Orissa plant in two months as it finished acquiring land from the government.

The project had run into controversy after police shot dead nine tribals in January after a protest against land acquisition for the project turned violent in Jajpur, some 100 km north of Bhubaneswar, Orissa’s capital.

‘‘The locals are not protesting the projects. It’s the outside elements. We are taking care of all these 700 families and will see to it that their standards of living get better in the coming years with higher income generation,’’ the MD of Tata Steel B. Muthuraman said.

The acquisition of 3,000 acres land for Rs 15,000 crore project cost the company around Rs 60-70 crore and the steel major is in the process of rehabilitating the 700 displaced families — named Tata Steel Parivar.

The rehab programme, Muthuraman said will be the best in the country with Tata Steel monitoring the progress of these families month-by-month. ‘‘The government has announced a rehabilitation policy and enhanced compensation several times. We are working on strategies to ensure them a better livelihood,’’ Muthuraman added.

With the beginning of construction, the company is on track to commission the first phase of its 6-million-tonne plant by 2009.

Apart from Orissa, Tata Steel is also setting up greenfield plants in Jharkhand and in Bastar, Chhattisgarh costing Rs 40,000 crore and Rs 12,000 crore, respectively. The 5-million-tonne Chhattisgarh plant is expected to be commissioned by 2010 while 12-million-tonne Jharkhand project will be ready by 2011.

On the law and order problems due to agitation by Maoists, Muthuraman said the genesis of these problems are due to lack of any income generation programmes. ‘‘Even these people realise that the project will help the development of region. We never had any problems with them in any of our plants,’’ he said. The company would fund the new projects and expansion of its Jamshedpur project through internal accrual and borrowing. ‘‘We have enough cash flow and have a borrowing plan in place. There are no plans for a rights issue,’’ he said.On Wednesday, Tata Steel shares ended 1.2 per cent higher at Rs 667.85.

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