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Tata Steel expects to commence work on new Orissa plant in Novembernews
31 August 2007

The world''s sixth-largest steel maker since its acquisition of Corus Plc in January this year, Tata Steel Ltd expects to commence work at its proposed 6-million tonne steel plant in Orissa in November and has ordered plant equipment worth Rs4,500 crore for it.

Addressing reporters in Bhubaneshwar after meeting Orissa chief minister Navin Patnaik, B Muthuraman managing director, Tata Steel, said, "We will start construction in November this year."

Though Muthuraman indicated that the company''s request for iron ore mines from the Orissa government were expected, the state government has not yet taken a decision as various other contenders who plan to locate steel plants in the state such as Posco and L N Mittal''s Mittal Steel have also expressed an interest in acquiring captive iron ore mines, an issue which the state government regards as a potential political minefield.

Though Tata Steel had signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government three years back in 2004 to invest in a steel plant at Kalinga Nagar, the project has been mired in controversy due to protests over the compulsory land acquisition. The Orissa government has allotted around 2,000 acres of land for the project.

Muthuraman said so far 620 families had moved from the site and the company needed to shift a total of 1,200 families. The tribals on whose land the project is proposed to be located claim they have yet to be compensated and have clashed with the police leading to 13 protestors being shot dead, leading to the project having come to a standstill.

also see : Other reports on Tata Steel

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Tata Steel expects to commence work on new Orissa plant in November