Government optimistic about ArcelorMittal steel mill
The State Government on Monday said it is optimistic about establishment of ArcelorMittal’s proposed 12 million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel plant in Keonjhar district in a peaceful manner.
Informing this, Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty, however, expressed his reservations over the commitment of ArcelorMittal in investing in steel sector in the country. The minister said that out of the 15 villages to be affected by the proposed steel plant, gram sabhas had been held in eight and 6(1) notification issued in the rest seven villages.
“The Odisha Government has been supporting industries to set up units. Though there is opposition to land acquisition by local people, we have been undertaking industrialisation in a peaceful manner. ArcelorMittal has given commitment to set up its plant in the State,” Mohanty said.
Reacting to the statement of ArcelorMittal chief Lakshmi Mittal in London, he said ArcelorMittal has so far invested over ` 70 crore for its Odisha project and is keen on setting up the proposed 12-mtpa steel plant.
Besides land acquisition, the renewal of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the company is pending.
ArcelorMittal and the State Government had signed the MoU for establishment of the steel plant in Patna tahasil of the district on December 21, 2006.
The MoU lapsed on December 20, 2011. ArcelorMittal applied for renewal of the MoU on December 8, 2011, which is under the examination of the State Government, he said.
Stating that the State Government is yet to receive any communication from the company on shifting or backing out from the project, the minister said ArcelorMittal’s India chief Sanak Mishra had already given a written assurance to the State Government reiterating the company’s commitment to set up the steel mill.
Though the company proposed to invest ` 40,000 crore for the proposed mega steel plant in 8,000 acres, it is unable to acquire even an inch of land. However, the company is yet to submit its detailed project report (DPR).