Dhanbad, Sept. 13: The Steel Authority of India Limited’s (SAIL) decision to invest around Rs 10,000 crore in its Tasra coal mines project has rekindled hopes for fast recovery of the Sindri industrial area, 30km from the Dhanbad district headquarters.
During a news conference in the state capital yesterday, SAIL chairman C.S. Verma also reiterated the PSU’s plan to develop a 5.6MT steel plant and ancillary industries with an investment of Rs 25,000 crore at Sindri fertiliser factory, situated near Tasra.
The Sindri factory is looking for a fresh start in its new avatar as SAIL Sindri Projects Limited, along with other units of Fertiliser Corporation of India that came out of the purview of Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction recently.
In addition, the PSU major is all set to pump in Rs 72,000 crore for modernisation of its facilities across the country.
The steel giant has roped in Lanco Infratech Ltd for the Tasra project having a reserve of about 250MT. The private firm received the letter of acceptance from SAIL last month.
The PSU’s Chasnala general manager J.K. Bhowmik, who is looking after the Tasra project, said, “It is a new block allotted to us. The contract has been awarded to Lanco and work will begin soon.”
According to the deal, Lanco will develop a coal washery and a 200-300MW captive power project. Estimated coal production capacity of the project is 4.2MT per annum.
At present, SAIL has three coal blocks in Dhanbad — two open cast mines in Chasnala area and a deep mine in Jitpur.
Even as the PSU is planning to expedite work at Tasra, sources said land acquisition could be a major problem. SAIL has been able to acquire only 345 hectares so far against 900 hectares required for the project.
Land issues apart, two rivulets flowing through the area — one flowing near Kandra in Sindri and the other near Maa Kalyaneshwari Temple in Chasnala — will have to be diverted to avoid inundation of the mines, especially during monsoon. “A dam will be built on one of the rivulets,” said a SAIL source.
Notably, the BCCL had handed over the Tasra site to SAIL in 1996 following inundation of the mines.
Irrespective of hurdles on the way, the SAIL announcement has cheered local residents, particularly the business community.
Secretary of Sindri Chamber of Commerce Deepak Dipu said, “The project will create employment opportunities and help develop the area.”