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Govt takes ITC on land recce

- After tobacco & milk, corporate giant eager to set up food processing unit in Jehanabad

Corporate giant ITC Limited has been taken on a recce of land in Jehanabad district following chairman Y.C. Deveshwar’s assertion it would enhance investments in Bihar if it got a suitable location for its industries.

A senior ITC official confirmed that the government had recently taken the company’s representatives to Jehanabad, around 50km south of Patna, and shown them land.

This follows Deveshwar’s announcement at the Bihar State Industrial Investment Advisory Council meeting in Mumbai on October 19 that ITC had been scouting the state for land for some time and that the company would consider more investments in the state if it got land in or around Patna.

ITC already has a cigarette manufacturing and packag- ing unit in Munger district, which has been operational for 96 years.

In addition to this, the company is fast completing the construction of its milk processing plant, also in Munger, worth more than Rs 150 crore.

“ITC wants to invest more in the state and is on the lookout for land which can be anything between 30 acres and 50 acres. Though it is too premature to talk about the exact details of investment, it would be related to the food processing sector. Land has been shown to ITC in Jehanabad, which lies around 50km south of Patna. The search doesn’t end here, as the company will look at more plots around the state capital and then zero in on the best one. Talks are on with the state government, which has promised total support,” an ITC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Telegraph.

Apart from manufacturing cigarettes, ITC has several other businesses, including hotels, milk products, agri business, packaging and information technology.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Mumbai, state industries minister Renu Kumari had said the department would help ITC in its search for land.

An industries departme- nt official confirmed that land been shown to ITC representatives.

“An ITC team had come down and there was a meeting last month. We have shown them land and the process is on. They want to start a food processing unit and want land near Patna. The department is providing all help to the company,” the official told The Telegraph.

The ITC official said work on their milk processing unit in Munger district, around 225km east of Patna, was going on at a fast clip.

“The work started in December last year and we expect its completion by September next year. The plant will be totally state-of-the-art and once completed, it would be one of its kind in the country. The plant, once completed, will have an initial capacity of 10 lakh litres of milk per day apart from producing other dairy products,” said the ITC official.