The Odisha High Court has ordered the Ganjam district collector to decide on the demands of the land losers of the Rs 1,200-crore jinxed titanium project proposed at Chhatrapur.
The court has urged the land losers to make fresh application to the collector on their demands.
“The court gave the order on Monday while disposing off a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Land Losers’ Welfare Association for titanium dioxide plant,” said the councel of the association.
A senior officer of the district administration, however, said they have not seen the copy of judgment yet.
Expressing unhappiness over the delay in implementing the project, the land losers had approached the High Court, seeking return of their lands. A special purpose vehicle was formed under the banner of Titanium Products Private Limited (TPPL) on January 29, 2008 by Kolkata-based Saraf Agencies and Russian partners-Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management (ROSIMUSHCHESTVO) and JSC Technochim Holding for setting up of the project.
Around 230 acres of land held by 1200 people of four villages including Kanamana, Tikiria Berhampur, Chandrapada and Maipatna were acquired for the project. The project, however, hit a roadblock due to sharp differences between its promoters, culminating in the exit of the Indian promoter.
The differences had cropped up over the controversial allotment of land by the state government owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa Ltd (Idco).
Idco had allotted land for the titanium project to Saraf Agencies at Chhatrapur but the Russian promoters had opposed it, demanding land allotment in the name of TPPL.
As per the original scheme of things, the Russian partners- State Property Management Agency and Tekhnokhim Holding had 51 per cent and 4 per cent stake in the project respectively.
The balance 45 per cent was held by Saraf Agencies that had already claimed to have invested Rs 200 crore on the project. Even though the Russian promoters had announced to commission the project on their own, work on the project was yet to be started. The proposed titanium dioxide plant was to produce 1,08,000 tonnes of titanium slag, 68,000 tonnes of high purity pig iron, 40,000 tonnes of dioxide pigment and 10,000 tonnes of titanium sponge.