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Thursday, Nov 18, 2004

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Tata Group signs four MoUs with Orissa Govt

Prafulla Das

Bhubaneswar , Nov. 17

THE Tata Group on Wednesday signed as many as four memorandums of understanding with the Orissa Government to set up several new projects, including a six-million-tonne integrated steel plant at Duburi in Jajpur district of the State.

While one MoU pertained to the greenfield steel project to be set up by Tata Steel, the three other MoUs were signed for setting up of an IT development centre by Tata Consultancy Services at Bhubaneswar and setting up of four IndiOne budget hotels at Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark and Paradip and development of two special tourism zones between Puri and Chilika Lake by the Group.

The MoUs were signed at the State Secretariat in the presence of the Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik, and the Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr Ratan Tata.

The steel plant will be set up at a total cost of Rs 15,400 crore in two modules of three million tonnes each. The first module, comprising three million tonne steel plant complex, including a blast furnace, coke ovens, sinter plant, caster and rolling mill, will be completed in four years. The second module of three million tonne would be completed in 24 months thereafter, according to the company.

The steel project also includes development of captive iron ore mines to meet the iron ore requirements of the plant and modern townships for the employees of the iron ore mines and the steel plant.

The State Government has already agreed to provide the company 2000 acres at the Industrial Complex at Duburi and allocate an additional 400 acres for its township from the second phase of the Industrial Complex. The Government has also assured to make available adequate iron ore for the plant after taking into account the total requirement.

The IT development centre will be set up at Infocity complex in Bhubaneswar with an initial investment of Rs 40 crore.

The State Industry Minister, Mr Biswabhushan Harichandan, the Steel and Mines Minister, Mr Padmanav Behera, the Tourism Minister, Mr Surya Narayan Patra, and the Chief Secretary, Mr Subas Pani were present on the occasion.

Top officials from the Tata Group, including Mr B. Muthuraman, Managing Director of Tata Steel, Mr S. Ramadurai, Managing Director of TCS, Mr Krishna Kumar, Managing Director of Taj Hotels, and Ms Sheila Nayaar, Chief Operating Officer of IndiOne Hotels were also present.

In his address, the Chief Minister assured that the State Government would provide land, iron ore, power and water for the steel project. With the setting up of the steel plant, Duburi will emerge as the largest steel city of the country. He also assured all support to the IT and tourism projects of the group.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ratan Tata said that the new alliance between the Tata Group and the Orissa Government would contribute towards the betterment of Orissa and its people.

The Tata Group has also committed to work jointly with the State Government for promoting Gopalpur Industrial Complex in Ganjam district through a special purpose vehicle to be set up for this purpose.

Besides, the group has already started construction of an Industrial Training Institute at Gopalpur and committed to take up training of 200 boys and girls every year and prepare them for employment in steel and related industries inside and outside the State.

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