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Sajjan Jindal’s company to chip in with funds for Kedarnath reconstruction projects

Officials said JSW Group would spend up to Rs 150 crore under the corporate social responsibility initiative for the reconstruction projects at the shrine.

dehradun Updated: Oct 20, 2017 20:11 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Kedarnath,Reconstruction projects
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of reconstruction projects at Kedarnath shrine on Friday. To the PM’s right is industrialist Sajjan Jindal (in black jacket) . (Rajeev Kala/HT Photo)

A steel tycoon offered funding under his business group’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative for five reconstruction works whose foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister at the Kedarnath shrine on Friday.

JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal, a middle-aged person wearing a black jacket, accompanied Narendra Modi during his visit to the shrine.

“Thankful to Lord #Shiva for giving us this opportunity of rebuilding #Kedarnath and preserving its rich religious heritage (sic),” Jindal’s official twiter handle @sajjanjindal59 tweeted. Sajjan’s twitter bio mentions his hobbies, ranging from mountaineering to flying.

The Kedarpuri town, which encompasses the shrine, was devastated by flash floods in June 2013.

The JSW Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Uttarakhand government for the works, including construction of residences for local priests and a museum of Adi Shankaracharya.

According to the JSW website, the company is a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, with presence in India, US, South America and Africa. The company is part of the OP Jindal Group with “strong footprints” in core economic sectors, namely, steel, energy, infrastructure, cement, ventures and sports.

OP Jindal’s younger son Naveen Jindal is also a steel tycoon and a former Congress lawmaker. Naveen Jindal is facing charges in the coal scam that allegedly took place during the Congress-led UPA government.

Unlike Naveen, Sajjan has reportedly cordial relations with the BJP. He was in news for his secret meeting with the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held earlier this year in Islamabad.

Officials said Sajjan would put in up to Rs 150 crore CSR funds for the Kedarnath reconstruction works.

During his address, Modi acknowledged the JSW’s contribution and sought help from other corporate groups.

Uttarakhand cabinet minister Prakash Pant, who was at Kedarnath, said the PM wanted public participation in the works.

“It is not a big deal for the union government to pump money on its own. But the PM perhaps intends more public participation so that a sense of ownership (to complete works) comes from individuals,” Pant told HT.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 20:11 IST