"She said 4,000 acres is a large amount and can be used for several industrial projects that will provide employment to thousands of youths. This district alone has attracted Rs.40,000 crore of investments, so we cannot keep the land idle for long."
Kolkata, July 15 - A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threatened to take back the 4,000 acres of land earlier allotted to JSW for a proposed integrated steel plant, which is yet to take off, the company Tuesday said it was committed to the project and blamed non-availibility of iron ore for the impasse.
We are committed to the Bengal project and spent over Rs.600 crore. Unfortunately, iron ore which is the critical input for steel making is not made available to steel companies which are set up after liberalisation for value addition within India.
Instead, India granted mining concessions to merchant miners encouraging export of iron ore and import of steel, a JSW Steel spokesperson said.
The company said the problem was compounded by iron ore bearing states that are now restraining the movement of iron ore to other states.
The Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Group company said the stand of the iron ore bearing states was threatening the survival of steel companies in non-iron ore bearing states.
The spokesperson said in view of the situation, JSW Steel had requested the state government to facilitate long term sustainable supply of iron ore to take up active implementation of Bengal Steel project.
West Bengal government is seized of the matter and JSW Steel is working along with the West Bengal government to resolve this issue. We are confident that we along with West Bengal government will find solution to this problem to enable us to take up the project implementation expeditiously, the spokesperson added.
JSW Bengal Steel had inked an MoU with the then Left Front government in 2007 for a Rs.35,000 crore integrated steel plant and power project on 4,300 acres of land at Salboni of West Midnapore district.
Banerjee, who was on a tour to the district Monday, said: The project has to materialise as early as possible. If the factory doesn't come up on time, then we will not keep the land idle, and will use it for other industrial units.
She said 4,000 acres is a large amount and can be used for several industrial projects that will provide employment to thousands of youths. This district alone has attracted Rs.40,000 crore of investments, so we cannot keep the land idle for long.
The chief minister also said that that JSW will have to pay Rs.5,000 monthly to 400 families that had given away their land for the project.