Poscos Orissa ops may start by Jan

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 2 2009, 06:40am hrs
Worlds fourth-largest steel maker Poscos Rs 54,000-crore project in Orissa may get off the ground by January next year as the state government is actively working to remove the hurdles coming in the way of the mega steel plant.

Orissa government is actively working to remove hudles in the path of the Poscos proposed 12-million tonne per annum (mtpa) project so that the company can have the groundbreaking ceremony in next 2-3 months, may be by January-end, steel secretary Pramod Kumar Rastogi said.

South Koreas President Lee Myung-bak, who is likely to visit Poscos proposed plant site in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, may attend the ceremony. Myung-bak is scheduled to visit India as a guest for the Republic Day in January. The Centre had recently written a letter to the state government regarding Myung-baks visit to Orissa.

Posco-India CMD Choon-Kuhn Know had recently said the company plans to start ground levelling work at the site by January 2010.

Posco entered into an agreement with the Orissa government to set up a steel plant five years ago but the project has been bogged down by land acquisition problems and regulatory hurdles.

The outgoing secretary said Posco as also ArcelorMittal should involve themselves actively in a dialogue process with locals and negotiate with them. The companies have to involve themselves directly in the negotiation process. Government is actively working, but if these companies involve themselves directly, educate people about their compensation packages, this would expedite the process, he said.

He said steel minister Virbhadra Singh has suggested the locals should be involved in the venture in more ways than just monetary compensation for their land. The minister said if after 30 years, the companies wind up their businesses, provisions should be there that locals can be given back their lands, he added.