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Tatas on telecom expansion drive

Bangalore, Jan. 4: The Tata group plans to invest Rs 13,000 crore in expanding its telecom business, even as it draws a blueprint to pump in nearly Rs 30,000 crore for a steel plant at Kalinganagar in Orissa.

“The investment by Tata Teleservices will go up to Rs 25,000 crore in the next three-four years including the investment that has already been made,’’ Tata Sons director J.J. Irani announced.

He believed that that there would be a shakeout in the highly competitive telecom segment with space only for four or five players.

“We will obviously top the list,’’ he said.

Tata Steel plans to build a 10-million-tonne steel plant in four phases at an investment between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 crore at Kalinganagar, but it would depend on the progress made on mining leases and availability of land.

Irani, however, denied that the Tatas were involved in constructing a boundary wall at the disputed site that led to violence on Tuesday between tribals and police, which resulted in the death of 12 people.

“We are not involved in any construction in the disputed site as the government has to acquire the land and provide it to the company. It is up to them to deal with the matter,’’ Irani said.

There are also other steelmakers besides Tata Steel keen on setting up plants at Kalinganagar.

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