Karnataka to decide on allotting alternative land to Posco

Karnataka chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda will decide next week whether or not to provide alternative land to POSCO for setting up a steel plant at Halligudi following stiff resistance from farmers, State Industries Minister Murgesh Nirani said today.

“The ball is in Chief Minister’s court. He will discuss the issue with Posco and take a decision in this regard in a week’s time,” Nirani told reporters here.

The proposal to acquire a plot measuring 3,382 acres at Halligudi in Mundargi taluk of Gadag district has met stiff resistance from farmers. Religious leaders have strongly backed the farmers.

The government, however, has not dropped its plans to set up the proposed POSCO steel plant at Halligudi, Nirani said.

“Denotification of land in Mundargi taluk is yet to come in the gazette,” he said. The land in Mundargi taluk was notified by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board to set up the POSCO steel plant.

When asked on whether the government has given an alternative captive site for ArcelorMittal, Nirani indicated that a decision would be taken next month in this regard.

“We are calling a meeting of all companies including ArcelorMittal next month to sort out problems faced by them,” he said.

ArcelorMittal had signed an agreement with Karnataka government during the Global Investors’ meet in 2010 for setting up the six mtpa steel plant with a 750 MW captive power plant.

The firm, which has proposed to set up the plant at an investment of Rs 30,000 crore in Bellary district, had withdrawn application for captive iron ore mining lease citing poor quality of ore.

The government had identified Donimalai region in Bellary district for allocating iron ore mine to the company.

In a letter to the government, the firm had said it had found poor quality of iron ore in the area earmarked for it through an exploration which established that the ore consists of 30 per cent to 38 per cent Fe (iron) contents and was unfit for making steel.

[Source – Financial Chronicle]

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