Bhubaneswar, Aug. 17: The Centre has cleared Tisco’s proposal for establishment of a multi-product special economic zone (SEZ) at Gopalpur, Orissa steel and mines minister Raghunath Mohanty told the Assembly today.
A number of industries will come up in the proposed SEZ, said the minister, adding that land allotted to Tisco earlier to set up a steel plant would be utilised for the purpose. Mohanty said the civil construction work for the project was currently in progress at the proposed site. The work for the boundary wall and road project has already begun.
At the proposed SEZ site, Tisco will set up an industrial park. The company will invest Rs 1,000 crore in the park and set up a 4-lakh tonne per annum steel rebar mill, a 55,000 tonne ferro chrome plant and a 1.2-million gallon per day water desalination plant.
For the infrastructure development, Rs 5,000 crore will be invested. Once the park is developed, Rs 15,000 crore will be invested for the development of downstream industries. Mohanty said: “The park will invite investment in steel, accessories of motor vehicles, apparel, gems, jewellery, speciality chemicals and other technical areas.”
Last month, Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerukar met chief minister Naveen Patnaik and said they were waiting for the environmental clearance for the project which is likely to be obtained by October.
In December 1995, former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao laid the foundation stone for the steel plant project. However, the project could not take off because of stiff resistance from the local residents.
Later, they changed their minds and decided to support the project. On August 20 last year, the foundation stone was laid. Nerukar said the industrial park was likely to generate employment opportunities for nearly 1,000 people.