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Jindal okays steel plot

July 29: The chairman and managing director of Jindal Iron & Steel Company, Sajjan Jindal, today inspected two plots near Kharagpur and said he hoped to lay the foundation stone of his Rs 10,000-crore steel plant on one of them in three months.

With West Bengal Industrial Develop-ment Corporation officials, Jindal inspected land at Dudhkundi and Indkhanra ' around 175 km from Calcutta ' in Jhar-gram subdivision of West Midnapore.

At Indkhanra, he said: 'I like this spot. If everything works out well, we hope to lay the foundation stone here in three months. In that case, our unit will be set up in 36 months.'

The plots shown to him measured around 4,000 acres, which matched the requirement for the proposed plant.

The government, however, said the key issue of iron ore supply from Jharkhand had yet to be sorted out. 'No concrete solution emerged at the recent meeting between Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and (Jharkhand chief minister) Arjun Munda,' commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen said this evening.

Jindal was not wanting in enthusiasm, though. 'Initially, we expect to produce around 2.5 million tonnes of steel annually. Our ultimate target is to produce 5 million tonnes every year,' he said.

Expressing faith in the government's efforts, Jindal said: 'With the (Bengal) chief minister's efficiency, iron ore won't be a problem. Jharkhand is dependent on Bengal for water and power. I don't think any eastern state would hinder another's progress.'

Sen said: 'Maybe he has done something to speed up the (steel plant) project that we don't know about.'

The steel company boss will meet the chief minister in Calcutta tomorrow.

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