<p>The first phase of the proposed six million tonne greenfield steel project of Tata Steel at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district will be ready by March 2014.
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, the chairman designate of Tata Sons, who went around the project site, has expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the project work.
It may be noted, Tata Steel had signed MoU with the state government for this project in 2004, but the work on it was severely affected following a violent clash in 2006 between the security forces and local tribal squatters opposing their shifting from the project site that resulted in the death of 14 persons.
However, the company, through its constant persuasion, has been able to win the support of the locals of late and restarted work on the project at a fast pace. It has shifted 948 out of 1,195 families from the project site till date.
Mistry, who is set to take over as chairman of Tata Sons from Ratan Tata in December, this year, on Tuesday had a “courtesy meeting” with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Tata group’s interest in Odisha ranges from mining to steel and ferroalloys manufacturing, software development and power generation, for which it has many operations already running and some in the pipeline.
Mistry was accompanied by Tata Steel managing director, HM Nerurkar.
Emerging from the meeting Mistry said, “It was just a courtesy call and I met the chief minister and apprised him of the progress of the Kalinga Nagar project”.
Nerurkar said, “The first phase of the Kalinga Nagar project will be ready by March 2014”. On the proposed industrial park of the company at Gopalpur, he said, “We have completed the boundary wall for the project and have already got environment clearance for it. We are awaiting CRZ (Coastal Regulatory Zone) clearance for the project at present.”
Tata Steel, as the anchor tenant for the Gopalpur industrial park, has lined up two projects there - a 50,000 tonne per annum ferroalloys plant and 400,000 tonne per annum bar mill.
The company would invest Rs 1,000 crore on these two projects which would initially create employment for 1,000 people.
Though Tata Steel had acquired the land in mid 1990s for setting up of a mega steel plant, the company later shelved the project and decided to set up the industrial park, which has also got the in-principle approval for SEZ (Special Economic Zone status).
Nerurkar also talked about Tata Steel’s new project in Karanataka. “We have just signed an expression of interest (EoI) for setting up six million tonne steel plant in Karnataka,” he said.
Last week , the steel major had signed the EoI to establish a plant in Haveri district of Karnataka with a total investment of over Rs 35,000 crore. Initially, Tata Metaliks Limited had proposed to set up a three million tonne integrated steel plant at the same site with an investment of Rs 15,000 crore.