labels: Steel
Arcelor Mittal steel project faces opposition in Jharkhand news
18 October 2008

Mumbai: Global steel major Arcelor Mittal is facing opposition to its greenfield steel project in the Khuti district of Jharkhand, for the same reasons that forced the exit of Tatas in Singur, West Bengal.

Arcelor Mittal's 12 million tonne steel project in Khuti district of Jharkhand, needs around 11,000 acres of land - 8,800 acres for the plant and another 2,400 acres for setting up a township.

The government has already allocated iron ore mines and coal blocks to Arcelor Mittal.

`Adivasi Malvasi Astitva Raksha Manch (AMARM)' an organisation opposing land acquisition has launched a campaign against the project early this week.

Representatives of Arcelor Mittal had also met the agitators on 15 October, but the agitation only seems to have gained momentum after that.

The agitators have distributed around 15,000 pamphlets among the villagers.

Dayamani Barla, a member of AMARM said pamphlets are being distributed to make people aware of their rights and the position of the government and the industry, adding that the state government should immediately stop land acquisition.

As per law, tribal land cannot be transferred to non-tribals as such acquisition deprives tribals of their rights. Also, agricultural land cannot be diverted for industrialisation, the pamphlets claim.
''Farmers need food grains not steel. We are strengthening the voice of villagers,'' she said. 

The Mittal steel project site is in Torpa block of Khuti district, the area proposed for setting up the 700-MW Koel Karo hydel project some 35 years ago. The project could not see the light of day due to opposition by the villagers.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, meanwhile, said it was temporarily cutting European steel output by 20 per cent because of lower demand and uncertainty surrounding the fallout from the financial turmoil.

The company is relying on growth in emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and the Middle East and expects its global growth to be around 3-5 per cent.

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Arcelor Mittal steel project faces opposition in Jharkhand