ArcelorMittal for talks with Jkhand site outsees

Written by State Bureau | Jamshedpur, Oct 19 | Updated: Oct 21 2008, 05:07am hrs
ArcelorMittal India, which is in the process of acquiring land for its two greenfield steel projects of 12 million tonne per annum in Jharkhand and Orissa, on Sunday said it was keen to have dialogues with all stakeholders in an open and trustworthy environment to understand their concerns and mitigate them.

The company said it has begun the process of direct and transparent participatory dialogue with the affected parties in the presence of the Jharkhand government officials and members of the civic society.

ArcelorMittal India is looking for around 13,000 acres at Torpa-Kamdara, 45 km from Ranchi, on the Khunti-Simdega Road for its project in Jharkhand.

Though most of the land is riyayti (owned by individuals), the population is comparatively thin with not much agricultural activities taking place.

Commenting on the Jharkhand project, ArcelorMittal India CEO Vijay Bhatnagar said, the company was committed to develop the project in full compliance with the states resettlement & rehabilitation (R&R) policy. This is a social project for us. Our focus is to rehabilitate first and develop the project after that. He said the steel major would continue to address the concerns of the people, dispel misconceptions and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Bhatnagar said the company was therefore keen on extending the dialogue process and include other affected groups and organisations into it.

ArcelorMittal India had recently said that it was in talks with bankers to evolve a mechanism for providing appropriate investment advice to farmers and local people whose lands it intends to acquire.

Bhatnagar said that the move was aimed at ensuring that farmers and other landowners, who had never handled large sums of money, did not get misguided by unscrupulous elements and end up losing their money.