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Mittal's Jharkhand project very much alive: Munda

Mittal's plant in Jharkhand is right on course and the possibility of setting up more than one project in India is bright.
None | By Press Trust of India, Ranchi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 29, 2006 10:33 PM IST

Steel tycoon LN Mittal's Rs 40,000 crore steel plant in Jharkhand is right on course and the possibility of the NRI businessman setting up more than one project in India is bright, if Chief Minister Arjun Munda's statement is any indication.

"We had very productive and serious talks in London, and I can tell you there is no question mark over Jharkhand project as had been raised in some quarters earlier," he told reporters here on his return from London, where he met Mittal.

The fate of the 12 million tonne project of Mittal Steel, now re-christened Arcelor-Mittal following its merger with Arcelor SA, became uncertain after Mittal earlier this month announced a near identical project in Orissa while expressing unhappiness with the pace of work in Jharkhand.

"In fact, Mittal Steel is serious about its project in Jharkhand," Munda said, dismissing fears that the project would be scrapped in the wake of the company's Orissa plans.

Munda's claim points to the possibility of Mittal pursuing both the projects.

Mittal Steel's Jharkhand plant, for which an agreement was signed in October last year, is expected to entail an investment of approximately Rs 40,000 crore and is to be developed in two phases of six million tonnes each.

Munda also said that he had informed Mittal about the government's seriousness in putting in place a Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) policy, which was earlier cited by the government as reason for delay in clearing the steel project.

"Work is going on in the right direction and we will make the R&R document public very soon... The departments of finance and mines are active in the process," he added.

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