Tata Steel has not dropped Chhattisgarh project

Tata Steel will stay put in Chhattisgarh, where it has planned a Rs. 20,000-crore steel plant. It signed the memorandum of understanding with the State government in 2005.

The delay in execution sparked questions whether India's largest private sector steel-maker had dropped the project after the escalation in Maoist violence in the State.

Project-affected people

The company said on Monday that it was keen on launching a social audit to find out the difference industrialisation could make to the lives of the project-affected people.

Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerurkar told journalists: “We are not dropping the project on account of the naxal problem. We worry about the safety of our people, though.”

He said the company was keen on working with local communities to improve their lives. “If the communities are happy with you, you will find support from them.”

Mr. Nerurkar said Tata Steel did not suffer in any way from the Maoist problem in any of its present or proposed locations. “And I hope we will not suffer. We have a tradition of engaging ourselves in affirmative action with community development in the leasehold area of operation for nearly 30 years.”

Company officials said nearly 20 per cent of the employees were from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, and the company helped in equipping them with skills, and enhancing the quality of their lives by creating basic amenities.

They said the 5.5 million-tonne Chhattisgarh project was planned in the Lohandigunda block, 20 km from Jagdalpur. About 5050 acres was needed for the project, with the State government acquiring the land. The company had already deposited the Rs. 75 crore needed for compensation, and a majority of the 1,505 land-owners had received payment.

Mr. Nerurkar said the country was passing through the worst phase of Naxalite violence. “Things will improve, and the government has also begun taking corrective measures.”

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 11:57:09 PM |

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