Calcutta, Sept. 27: The cabinet sub-committee on industries and infrastructure today approved a proposal to seek clarification from Adhunik Corporation Ltd and the Jai Balaji Group on the deadlines to set up steel plants in Purulia.
Government officials said the state would also ask the companies when they would start production at the Raghunathpur plants.
“The proposal to seek replies from the companies has been approved. The companies will be asked to reply at the earliest,” industries minister Partha Chatterjee said.
According to senior Writers’ officials, Adhunik was allotted 500 acres for an integrated steel plant with the capacity of producing 1.1 million tonnes per annum. Jai Balaji had been given 1,100 acres for a plant that can produce 1 million tonnes a year.
The construction of the plants is yet to begin.
Senior government officials said the Adhunik project was supposed to come up by 2011 and the Jai Balaji plant by 2012.
Sources said the projects faced bureaucratic hurdles.
As Adhunik and Jai Balaji are yet to start production, the government is not in favour of giving them more time, the sources said.
Jai Balaji had been allotted four coal mines by the Union coal ministry based on a recommendation by the West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation.
“If the company is not interested in the project (the steel plant and the blocks tied to it), the Bengal government will write to the Centre requesting it to cancel the lease of the coal mines. The state government feels that if Jai Balaji withdraws, there are several companies who can come forward,” an official said.
Sources in Jai Balaji said the government needed to clear the impediments first. “Despite several requests, the lease deed was not signed. Consequently, bankers withdrew the sanctioned loan,” a source said.
The company said the pollution control board was yet to give environmental clearance to the project. The state has not allocated water either.
Adhunik director Mahesh Agarwal said: “I am hopeful of signing the lease deed next month and start work on the project thereafter.”