After protests and deaths at Nandigram and Kalinga Nagar, steel companies are working on big-ticket corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in areas where their investments have or will result in the displacement of a large number of people.
LN Mittal, who is a frontrunner for acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Sesa Goa from Mitsui and has announced plans for projects in Jharkhand and Orissa worth Rs 40,000 crore each, is planning a $2 billion (Rs 8,600 crore) foundation.
Tentatively called LN Mittal Global Foundation, it will focus on education, health and sports in Goa, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Its executives are working out details with the central government, sources said.
A sports academy in particular is targeted at identifying talent among tribal communities in the areas where Mittal Steel will be operating.
Tata Steel, which continues to face problems over land acquisition for its small car project in West Bengal, its greenfield steel plant at Kalinga Nagar in Orissa, and now for its $2.3 billion project at Bailadila in Chhattisgarh, will unveil a Rs 100-crore CSR project this month.
The country's largest private manufacturer of steel has discussed the package with VANI, a pan-India network of 2,200 NGOs. A final round of talks is expected in Chhattisgarh this month.
Besides the CSR package, the Tata Steel Parivar, an outfit formed recently to formulate rehabilitation strategies for the Tatas, has come out with a policy at Kalinga Nagar. The idea is to persuade people to vacate the 2,000-acre site.
At Gopalpur where a SEZ has been proposed, the Tatas have already unveiled a CSR package.
The company has also started a significant amount of capacity-building at Singur, the location of its small car project, in collaboration with the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation. Technical training is being imparted to local people ahead of a job selection process.
Posco, the Korean steel firm which has entered Orissa, has also chalked out a detailed CSR action plan. Its deputy director in Delhi, however, declined comment.