Surekha Nerurkar, social worker and wife of Tata Steel managing director HM Nerurkar, greets guests at the cake cutting ceremony on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Better infrastructure for Jamshedpur and a resolute target of expansion of its city plant are on the top of Tata Steel’s list of New Year resolutions.
Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerurkar on Tuesday reiterated the promise of infrastructure upgrade, claiming that the government would give a final nod to clear the eastern corridor project — linking NH-33 with Tatanagar station through flyovers and arterial roads — and a third bridge over the Subernarekha by mid-January.
Addressing a gathering after the formal cake cutting ceremony to usher in 2013 at Centre For Excellence, Nerurkar said, “The Rs 1,323-crore (eastern corridor) project is an ambitious plan aimed at easing traffic congestion which would be completed within two years of its commencement.”
The MD added, “With the huge growth in traffic, we are also serious about drawing up a plan for dedicated parking space in various parts of the city. We have issued directives to Jusco (Tata Steel subsidiary) to ensure that the city’s green cover is maintained.”
Nerurkar identified maintaining a pollution-free environment both a challenge and a priority in view of the steel major’s expansion plan.
He candidly admitted that the company’s management was at fault for the clash between Tata Steel security guards and contract workers outside the company’s HSM entrance on December 24 last year.
“It was lack of planning on our front which led to the situation. We are thinking about ways to prevent such incidents in future,” he added, referring to the firing in which nine persons were injured.
Not perturbed by the economic gloom, Tata Steel will keep its commitment of completing 2.9 metric tonnes (MT) per annum expansion at its Jamshedpur plant by February.
The expansion will take the Jamshedpur plant’s steel making output to 9.7MT per annum. Nerurkar said that despite difficult times, the company had achieved its target of expansion in Jamshedpur.
“The coke oven battery No. 10 and by-product plant at the Jamshedpur plant, built at a capacity of 0.7MT per annum, have started production. Tata Steel will have a global steel capacity of 29.9MT per annum by February,” he added.
Tata Steel has a 6.8MT per annum production capacity at the Jamshedpur plant and a combined capacity of 27MT per annum globally.
The corporate honcho was also upbeat about support from the local community in Odisha for the Kalinganagar project, hinting that acquisition of land and setting up of the company’s infrastructure would fall into place in the next three months.
He hoped that production would commence by the second half of 2014.
Tata Steel has a 6MT per annum greenfield steel plant in Odisha that is under construction. It has received captive mining approvals from the government, while the first phase of 3MT production is scheduled to start in 2014.
“The demand for steel in India remains robust and in fact continues to outstrip supply. Unfortunately, major greenfield projects which will substantially increase domestic steel are facing enormous delays due to hurdles in land acquisition and approvals for necessary mining rights (for iron ore) to feed the new plants.”