Wooing Mittal, govt notifies Bellary land

ArcelorMittal scouted plots in Bagalkot and Bijapur districts
Last Updated 07 January 2010, 19:31 IST

The State Government’s decision is clearly aimed at rolling out the red carpet to Mittal and a signal that ArcelorMittal must now quickly take steps to set up the six million tonne per annum integrated steel plant with an investment of Rs 30,000 crore in an investor-friendly country. The Government’s move on issuing the notification ahead of crucial meeting with the steel baron is termed as the Chief Minister’s keenness to show his government’s commitment towards the project. 

According to the latest gazette notification issued by the Government, land was notified at three locations in the Donimalai range in Sandur taluk of Bellary. This move comes in the wake of representatives of ArcelorMittal already having toured Bagalkot, Bijapur and Bellary to identify a location for their proposed steel plant. The steel baron has sought large tracts of mining area required to produce the targeted steel.

The entire area is government land and is rich in iron ore deposits and land will be allotted to companies which wished to set up captive steels plants in Karnataka, State Heavy Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani told Deccan Herald here.
Mittal, who has met Yeddyurappa recently, is believed to have expressed satisfaction over the prospects for the new venture.

“There are a lot of assurances from the Karnataka Government and there is a clear commitment on its part. This is my first meeting with the Chief Minister. We are very impressed with the kind of support and co-operation we are receiving from them,“ Mittal told reporters here.

ArcelorMittal representatives have inspected two places in Karnataka – Kolhara in Basavana Bagewadi taluk of Bijapur district and Toranagallu in Bellary district – for setting up their proposed plant and the company is likely to finalise one of them soon.

As there is no government land available at these two places, the Government promised to allot 4,000 acres of private land, mostly farmland, as the site for the proposed plant.

“The government will provide best prices to farmers in consultation with company officials and the compensation will be higher than the market rate” Nirani said. ArcelorMittal has also promised to provide job to one person from each of the displaced families. However, there was no problem of rehabilitation in Kolhara and Toranagallu as no human settlement exists there.

Besides land, the Yeddyurappa government is also willing to provide ArcelorMittal 40 MGD water which will be drawn either from Alamatti or Tungabhdara reservoir in accordance with the demands of the company wishes to set up a captive power plant with a capacity of 750 MW.

Yeddyurappa, who held talks with Mittal on Thursday, promised to clear the project in 90 days of its submission. After the meeting, the Chief Minister told reporters that “providing land for the project will not be a problem as the people of the state have already agreed to it.”

Mittal, whose ArcelorMittal controls over 10 per cent of global steel production, said good progress would be made in the next two months. “After that we will decide on signing of the MoU”.

(Published 07 January 2010, 19:31 IST)

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