ArcelorMittal project: locals to be taken into confidence

May 26, 2008

May 26 (The Financial Express) – ArcelorMittal on Monday said it would implement its 12 million tonne project in Orissa in consultation with local people. “Local people will be taken into confidence,” Bijaya Bhatnagar, chief executive officer, ArcelorMittal India, said here on Monday.

Bhatnagar and Sanak Mishra, chief operating officer, greenfield project, ArcelorMittal, formally launched the company’s corporate social responsibility activities in the Keonjhar district.

Outside the venue, over a thousand people protested against the project under the banner of the Mittal Pratirodh Manch. They shouted Mittal hat jao and Mittal murdabad .

Bhatnagar said 15-17 villages would be affected because of the project and the exact number of the affected people would be enumerated very soon.

Assuring that the quality of life of people in the region would improve because of the project, the CEO said the displaced ones would be provided full support for life sustenance activities.

Stating that both Orissa and Jharkhand projects were going ahead at a good speed, Bhatnagar said, “It is a neck and neck race between the projects”. He said the first phase (6 million tonne) of the project would be commissioned in 2012, while the second phase would be completed by 2020. According to him, the company has applied to the state government for linkage of mines with deposits of 600 million tonne of iron ore.

When asked how Arcelor Mittal was expecting to execute the project while others are floundering, Bhatnagar said, “There is a difference between us and others. We know how to deal with people”.

ArcelorMittal has signed an MoU with the Orissa government to set up a 12 million tonne plant in the Patna tehsil of Keonjhar district at an investment of Rs 40,000 crore.

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