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Mittal to pursue Jharkhand plan
John Satish K in New Delhi | July 12, 2006 13:53 IST
Even after the announcement that Mittal Steel was exploring the possibility of investing Rs 40,000 crore (Rs 400 billion) to set up steel plants in Orissa, Laxmi Nivas Mittal will be pursuing the originally intended project in Jharkhand much harder.
Admitting that the Jharkhand government could have played a more proactive role in expediting the allocation of the required iron ore source, Mittal Steel has said that it was the attitude of the state government that necessitated looking for alternatives.
"We are not diluting our interest in the Chiria mines, but we want the Jharkhand government to pursue the legal case on the Chiria mines and get a resolution by taking it to its conclusion quickly," Mittal Steel Jharkhand Pvt Ltd CEO Sanak Mishra told Business Standard.
"We are now going to be pursuing the Jharkhand government even harder. Initially, when we made our announcement last week on our interest in Orissa, they were under the impression that the project was off, but we have clarified to them that they are still in the race."
Mittal had said here on Friday that his company would pursue both states and whichever worked out faster, the project would come up in that state.
The Jharkhand government has already reacted to the development with CM Arjun Munda likely to convene a meeting of different departments to review the project's lack of progress and is expected to announce a rehabilitation policy for people displaced by industrial projects later this month.
The company, which hired Canadian consultants Hatch for doing the initial assessment, has already received Project Concept Study last month and was ready to move on to the Detailed Project Report stage. This, however, has been delayed because the company has not been allotted a captive mine yet.
"We had expected to begin the DPR by June immediately after the PCS was submitted but obviously it has been delayed. The question really is how much more will it be delayed?" Mishra said.
He explained that while a mining tribunal had ruled in favour of SAIL against the Arjun Munda government for lease of the Chiria mines for captive use in Iisco's plant in December last year, the government sat on it for four months before filing an appeal.