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ArcelorMittal defaulted on payment for land: Minister


Bhubaneswar, Aug 23

Countering ArcelorMittal’s claim that land acquisition delays led to the scrapping of its Rs 50,000 crore steel project in Odisha, the state government today said the company had defaulted on payments towards land cost.

arcelor mittal
“The project authority did not deposit the estimated cost of land amounting to Rs 59.03 crore,” Industries Minister Niranjan Pujari said in a reply to the Assembly.

As a result, all land acquisition proposals lapsed and the award of compensation could not be passed within two years of publishing the land acquisition declaration, he said.

The project authorities did not even deposit the 10 per cent establishment charge of Rs 2 crore needed to move the land acquisition proposal in Childa and Baliaposhi villages, the minister said.

ArcelorMittal did not respond to repeated reminders to deposit the land cost and establishment charges, he said.

Company officials were not immediately available to comment on the minister’s statements.

The state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha had filed for a lease of  2,847.50 acres of government land and 4,905.80 acres of private land in 14 villages under Patna tehsil in Keonjhar district for the proposed 12 million ton per annum steel plant and township.

The state Revenue and Disaster Management department had issued notifications and declarations during 2009-11 for the acquisition of 2,112.93 acres of private land in seven villages, the minister said. Similar steps could not be taken in seven other villages due to resistance by the locals.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, last month pulled out of the Odisha project, citing delays in land acquisition and allocation of iron ore deposits and law and order issues. (PTI)