The government has thrown a spanner in the proposed Rs. 16,000-crore expansion plan of Sajjan Jindal's Vijayanagar Steel Plant.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has sought more information on the plan to expand the plant, located just 5 kms from the Daroji Bear Sanctuary, to produce 16 million tonnes per annum of steel.
The plant is already being expanded to touch 10 mtpa by this March, which will make it India's largest steel plant.
The ministry has asked JSW to provide an authenticated map showing the location of the plant and the sanctuary, a detailed risk analysis and disaster management plan, a revised green belt development plan and a CSR plan for 5% of project cost.
Though the expansion does not need additional land, its proximity to the sanctuary prompted the detailed study.
"We have asked for additional information... there is no view (positive or negative) that we have formed so far," said a ministry official who is part of the Expert Appraisal Committee for the project.
"After we receive the information, a sub-committee will visit the plant site to see the implementaion of pollution control and environment conservation measures."
Vijayanagar currently produces 7 mtpa of steel. It is central to JSW's ambitions and Sajjan Jindal has in the past said it has potential to produce as much as 20 mtpa if Karnataka allots raw material linkages.
The company dismissed the deferment as a part and parcel of procedures.
"There is no rejection, merely a deferment," a senior company official said on condition of anonymity.
"The plant has been there much before the sanctuary was notified and no additional land is required."
Buys Bellary plant for Rs. 210 cr
JSW Steel has bought assets of Bellary Steel for Rs. 210 crore, joint managing director MVS Seshagiri Rao said on Monday.
"We have taken over the land, buildings and branded machinery. We have paid the total consideration, and the takeover will be over in 20 days."