The Rs 32,000-crore ArcelorMittal integrated steel project being set up in Karnataka seems to be on track with the State Government acquiring about half of the 4,000 acres for the 6-million-tonne plant without any hitch.
The Government has also decided to go ahead with the Rs 32,000-crore Posco integrated steel project. The Government said it will protect the interest of farmers who agree to give away the land for the plant and may even increase the compensation amount, if required.
The State Industries Minister, Mr Murgesh R. Nirani, told Business Line that ArcelorMittal had deposited with the Government about Rs 700 crore towards land acquisition in Bellary district, north Karnataka, where it is setting up the plant.
The compensation was divided into three slabs for the farmers who gave away land. Those farmers whose land was in the interior got about Rs 8 lakh an acre, and those whose land was closer to the highway received about Rs 12 lakh and those whose land was adjoining the highway received about Rs 16 lakh. The Minister claimed that there was no hitch in acquiring the land for the project. A total of 1,600 farmers were identified for acquisition of land.
The mining lease issue for both the steel projects has also been resolved with the Government taking a decision to give only half the installed capacity of each of the steel plants while for the rest, they will have to source it from the private sector.
Mr Nirani said even for the South Korea-based Posco which is setting up the plant in Gadag district, preliminary hearing for acquisition of 3,382 acres will take place within six months. “Most of the farmers whose land has been identified for acquisition are keen (to give away land) because of the benefits they will receive,” Mr Nirani said. He said nearly 75 per cent of the total land for the project is dry. Hence, he claimed, farmers are not opposed to offering their land. “Farmers are going to get jobs apart from the huge compensation for offering their land,” he pointed out. Posco has deposited Rs 60 crore towards acquisition of the land.
Water from Almatti dam
The State has also decided to give water from the Krishna Basin near the Almatti dam for the ArcelorMittal project. It has agreed to give about 40 MLD a year for the project but most of it would be from the overflow of water from the basin.