Steel giant ArcelorMittal's Jharkhand project may hit a roadblock with local villagers deciding not to give away an "inch of land" to the company for setting up the Rs 40,000 crore greenfield steel project.
The move comes within days of the world's largest steel producer led by billionaire Lakshmi Niwas Mittal applying for over 11,000 acres of land for its proposed steel plant and rehabilitation colony in the state.
Owing allegiance to Adivasi Moolwasi Astitva Raksha Manch (AMARM), the villagers adjoining Torpa-Kamdara blocks, where the company has proposed setting up its 12 million tons steel plant, have outrightly rejected Jharkhand
Government's R&R Policy and vouched not to part away with their land.
"The recently-announced policy of the government is an attempt to grab land from villagers on the pretext of industrialisation. We won't let it happen. Villagers will not give even an inch of land to ArcelorMittal," AMARM coordinator Dayamani Barla told PTI over phone from Ranchi.
On the other hand, the company said that it was making good progress on the Jharkhand project.
"Things are moving in right direction. We have applied for land and are extensively carrying out corporate social responsibility works in the state," ArcelorMittal's CEO for Jharkhand and Orissa projects Sanak Mishra said.
He, however, declined to comment on the likely protest by villagers over land issue.
Of the total land requisitioned by the steel major, nearly 75 per cent belongs to private owners spanned across 14 villages, while the government owns the rest.