With Tata Steel Limited''s Rs2,500 crore titanium dioxide
project at Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu getting mired
in political debate, the Tata group has declared it cannot
be wait inordinately. The group has other options to pursue,
top officials said.
the media here on Tuesday B Muthuraman, managing director,
Tata Steel said, after the Corus acquisition, the company''s
consolidated turnover is Rs100,000 crore turnover. A company
of this size has various other projects and contingency
plans to fall back on, he emhasised.
said the group had budgeted Rs50 crore towards land acquisition
(approximately Rs56,000 per acre) which he said was a
fair price. "We will not pay `any'' price," he
added. If the land cost exceeds the above amount then
the project that has a. internal rate of return of 12-14
per cent will not be viable.
parties like AIADMK, left parties, PMK and Congress (I)
- the last three are allies of the ruling party DMK- have
formed fact finding teams to gather the people''s mood
towards the project. Even the government has formed its
own fact-finding team. This apart there will be a public
hearing after the project gets the land and the environmental
impact assessment is made.
to Muthuraman, only four Indian states-Andhra Pradesh,
Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa- can have a titanium dioxide
project. Kerala has one already. Tata Steel after considering
the four states finally zeroed on Tamil Nadu way back
in 2002 itself. It signed an MOU with the then state government
under AIADMK. After that the project didn''t take off.
June, Tata Steel signed another MOU with the state government
now under DMK supported by its poll allies.
queried about the company acquiring the land directly
from the owners instead of asking the government to acquire,
Muthuraman said, title to some land tracts are unclear.
It will be better for the government to acquire large
tracts of land instead of a company.
Steel has acquired around 15 acres on its own for the
titanium dioxide project.
the state government to stop illegal mining in the Tirunelveli
district he said the titanium dioxide project would generate
direct employment for 1,000 persons and indirect employment
for another 3,000.