The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Land for industry on CM fast track

Ranchi, April 28: Industrialists keen to make investments in Jharkhand today urged chief minister Arjun Munda to put on the fast track the process of land acquisition.

They also requested him to mount pressure on the Centre to facilitate early allotment of coal blocks and other cases involving clearance by the government at the Centre.

Munda has assured the industrialists a quick solution and has asked the officials concerned to come up with a plan by May 28, when the next meeting with investors has been scheduled.

The Delhi-based Monnet Ispat Limited is ready to invest over Rs 1,600 crore in Jharkhand. It needs about 550 acres of land in Hazaribagh district for setting up a sponge iron plant, captive power plant and coal blocks for captive mining. Though it signed an MoU in February last year, work is yet to begin.

'We will be laying the foundation of the plant on the very day the piece of land is allotted to us. Production will begin within a year-and-a-half. Land has been identified, but acquisition or allotment of coal blocks take time,' said K.B. Trehan, president, Monnet Ispat.

The Calcutta-based Adhunik Alloys Power Limited is ready to invest over Rs 2,130 crore in the state. It wants to set up an integrated steel plant in the Kandra Industrial Area of Seraikela-Kharsawan district. For this, it needs over 700 acres of land.

Munda said he assured the investors their 'minor' problems would be solved within a month. As far as the 'bigger' problems are concerned, Munda said he would soon meet the Prime Minister to thrash out a solution.

'I have asked the land revenue secretary to consult the deputy commissioners and divisional commissioners to work out modalities for the land acquisition process within a month. I have also told the officials to find out if the investors could be given any other site if their projects involve acquisition of forest land. The JSEB too has been asked to state what needs to be done by the government for smooth power supply to the proposed plants,' he said.

The next meeting with the investors will take place on May 28. 'The officials ought to come prepared with their updated reports,' Munda said.

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