Tata Steel proposes to revise package for Gopalpur project

Berhampur: Tata Steel has proposed to revise the compensation package for families displaced by its Gopalpur project in Ganjam district.

“We have submitted a fresh compensation package to Odisha government. The package will be announced after the government gives its go-ahead,” Vice-president of the project Arun Mishra said here yesterday.

In 1996, people of Sindhigaon, Badapaur, Patrapur, Kalipalli and Paikapada villages near Gopalpur were displaced when the company acquired 2,970 acres for the then proposed shore-based mega steel plant. People of eight other villages were affected by the project, officials said.

Tatas later shelved the project and decided to set up an industrial park and multi-product special economic zone (SEZ). Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the stone of the proposed park in August 2010.

The delay in execution of the project has led to the discontent among the displaced. Besides a special package in tune with the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Policy, they are demanding permanent job to one member of every affected family.

Tata Rehabilitation Village Development Committee had submitted a memorandum to Tata Group’s chairman Cyrus P Mistry during his visit to the area on September 2. It had demanded Rs 15 lakh compensation each to the affected families and fresh enumeration of those displaced by the project.

“The company will formulate a recruitment policy and submit it to the district administration. A skill development centre will be set up in the district to train local youths,” Misra said.

He said the Gopalpur project was a priority for the company. “We’ll be setting up a ferro chrome plan of 55,000 tonne per annum capacity, as an anchor project in the proposed park at a cost of Rs 400 crore. The plant is likely to start operation by March 2015,” said Misra.

Around 350 people would get direct and indirect employment opportunities from the plant, he said.

“Another ferro chorme plant of 2.4 lakh ton per annum capacity will be set up at same place for which environment clearance has been sought,” he said.