Tata Steel has paid the entire amount demanded by the state government for distributing compensation among the villagers who gave away their land for company’s mega steel project in Bastar.
The steel major is coming up with a 5.5 million tonnes per annum green-field integrated steel plant in Lohandiguda development block of Bastar district. The company had inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chhattisgarh government in June 2005 for the project.
Since the project site comes under the tribal area, the company cannot purchase land directly from the villagers as per the state government’s rule. Instead, it would deposit the compensation to the authorities concerned, which would disburse the amount to the land owners.
The district administration would acquire the land from the farmers for the Tata steel. The land would be transferred to the Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC) that would allot it to the Tata Steel on lease for the steel project.
The Tata steel had paid the entire amount as against the demand raised by the CSIDC for the compensation. However, the administration failed to disburse a part of the compensation to the villagers.
“Tata Steel has paid Rs 69.43 crore in response to the demand raised by CSIDC on the basis of a similar demand by the Collector, Bastar for acquisition of private land at Lohandiguda, Bastar for the steel plant,” Prabhat Sharma, Tata Steel’s Head of Corporate Affairs, said. However only 70 per cent of the amount deposited has been disbursed thus far with the remaining amount of Rs 27.36 crore still lying with the Collector, Bastar, he added.
Further, in accordance with the guidelines and as per the demand raised the company also deposited service charges to the tune of Rs 3.47 crore with the Collector’s office, Bastar, Sharma said, adding that the entire amount of compensation along with the service was paid in 2008.