In a fresh blow to the sagging industrial fortunes of the state, the Jindal Group-owned JSW Steel announced its decision to put its proposed Rs. 35,000 crore steel plant project at Salboni on hold on Sunday.
Company chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal said that the project, which had been tipped to lend the much needed shot in the arm of the jaundiced industrial sector, had to be shelved on account of an acute shortage in the supply of iron ore, deemed the principal raw material for the project.
“The project is on hold for the time being and till such time we are able fix up the problem of iron ore, it would stay that way,” Jindal said.
Claiming that the issues dogging the project were beyond his control, the group chairman and managing director stopped short of giving a deadline on when the project could be revived, if at all.
Much delayed and jinxed, the project had hit a bumpy road from the time it was conceived in 2007.
Barely hours after presiding over the inauguration event of the project at Salboni back on November 2008, Maoists struck the convoy of then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Union steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
With the project effectively pushed to the backburner following the Jindals’ announcement on Sunday, there are fears on whether the promised steel plant would ever see the light of day.
However, the group put out a statement, saying, “We remain committed to our Salboni project in West Bengal and have already invested R600-R1,000 crore towards this end.”
“We are working with all stakeholders to move this project forward and contribute to the development of Bengal,” a spokesperson for JSW Steel said on Sunday.