ROURKELA: Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday said four greenfield steel projects would come up in different States including Odisha. The combined production capacity of the projects would be 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
Speaking to mediapersons here, the Union Minister said besides Odisha, three other projects would be set up in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Tomar said the plan for new projects has been envisaged to boost ‘Make in India’ campaign and take the steel production capacity of the country to 300 million tonnes by 2025 from 80-odd million tonnes now.
By 2025, SAIL would become a 50-MTPA company and the capacity of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) would rise to 10.8 MTPA. Modernisation and expansion projects of RSP and Burnpur Steel Plant are nearing completion and the ongoing capacity expansion work of other SAIL plants would be completed by June which will add to SAIL’s capacity by 23 MTPA.
Tomar claimed that the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Ordinance promises greater transparency and removes all discretionary powers of Central and State Governments in allotment of mines.
Stating that adequate steps were being taken to remove stagnation in mining sector, Tomar said revision of mineral royalty would ensure additional financial benefits of `1,600 crore to Odisha. Increase in mining operations would also remove the present crisis of iron and steel industries, he added.
On the demand for handing over probe into illegal mining in Odisha to the CBI, Tomar said the Centre has been following all recommendations of the MB Shah Commission and punishment provisions in illegal mining have been made stringent.
In a shift from the SAIL’s earlier proposal to upgrade the RSP-run Ispat General Hospital into Medical College and Hospital (MCH) and super specialty hospital, Tomar said SAIL is ready to invest but the State Government should moot a proposal to run it. Tomar also committed to take adequate measures to revive the fortunes of Bisra Stone Lime Company Ltd (BSLC) at Birmitrapur.
The Minister was accompanied by SAIL Chairman CS Verma. About SAIL’s eight-year-old proposal to set up a joint venture slag-based cement plant at Purunapani in Sundargarh district, Verma said it has been held up due to technical hurdles but assured of looking into loopholes.
Tomar, who is on a two-day visit, also reviewed the progress of Rourkela Steel Plant. During his maiden visit to the plant, the Union Minister inaugurated the rolling facilities of the new 4300 mm wide state-of-the-art Plate Mill. Joint Secretary in the Ministry Sunil Barthwal, SAIL Chairman and other Directors of the company accompanied him.
RSP has made the new integrated steel-making facilities operational under the ongoing modernisation and expansion programme. He also reviewed the CSR activities undertaken by RSP under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and appreciated its efforts in setting up 355 toilets in schools under ‘Swachh Vidyalay Abhiyan’.