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Govt to review proposed Mittal steel project

Bhubaneswar: With ArcelorMittal making it clear that the company`s investment in India may not materialise for another five years, the state government today said it would review the progress made by the steel maker regarding its proposed project in Keonjhar district.

"The state government will certainly want to know the reason for the delay in execution of the project by ArcelorMittal. We will raise the issue at the next review meeting with the company executives", state Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty told reporters here. "The company is yet to submit its detailed project report to the state government", he said while conceding that there was `little bit of opposition` to the 12 mtpa greenfield steel mill in Keonjhar.

ArcelorMittal, which requires 8,000 acres at Patana tehsil, is yet to begin land acquisition and has not completed `palli sabha` (village meeting) in the 15 villages demarcated for the proposed steel plant, he said. ArcelorMittal, which signed an MoU with the state government on December 21, 2006, had proposed to invest Rs 40,000 crore in the project.

The company, which is the world`s largest steel maker, had announced plans to set up two steel plants of 12 million tonnes each in Jharkhand and Odisha in 2006. Later, it also unveiled a plan to establish a six million tonnes plant in Karnataka. While the Jharkhand project is making slow progress, the Odisha plans have been on the backburner, largely due to land acquisition issues and regulatory hurdles. However, in Karnataka, it has made progress.

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