The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court calls for details of stand on Tata sublet land

Ranchi, July 2: Jharkhand High Court today asked the state government to file an affidavit and put on record adjustments it has made to reconsider renewal of the lease of the land under Schedule IV of the land-lease agreement with Tata Steel.

The order of the court, which was hearing a dispute overrenewal of the agreement, came a day after chief minister Arjun Munda’s announcement that his government has decided to renew the land-lease deal with the steel giant.

The land under Schedule IV involves several thousand acres that has been sublet to other firms and industries in Jamshedpur.

Today, advocate-general Anil Kumar Sinha presented before a division bench of Chief Justice P.K. Iyer Balasubramanyan and Justice Hari Shankar Prasad a letter from the state.

The letter specified that the land and revenue department would consider renewing the lease of the land under Schedule IV only if the steel giant agrees to pay around Rs 137 crore to the government for subletting the land.

The state also said in the letter that it would reconsider leasing the land under Schedule V after the steel company informs the government of its projects and proposals for developing the land under this schedule.

Some parts of the land will be retained by the state. But no decision has been taken yet as to how much land the government will retain and which parts would be given to the company. The court has directed the state to finalise all these details in its affidavit.

Yesterday, Munda had said that as far as Schedule V — the vacant land area under the steel major — is concerned, “we have asked Tata Steel to place proposals (on) how they want to utilise the land that would help in industrialisation of the state”. “After they get back to us, we would examine it and grant them the lease accordingly.”

The letter that Sinha presented today said the company has to submit a complete report on the kind of industries and factories that it will put up on the vacant lands under Schedule V in the next 10 years. The steel company will also have to inform the state about the extent of the capital investment it will undertake for developing the area.

The court asked the advocate-general to submit all details in its affidavit. It will take up the matter again on August 6.

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