JSW Steel says Bengal to regularise land for plant

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018

JSW Steel today claimed that the final hurdle before its Salboni project in West Bengal appears to be over as the State Government had agreed to regularise the possession of 297 acres, directly purchased from the farmers.

The company plans to build a three-million-tonne steel plant and a 300-MW captive power plant at Salboni.

JSW was holding the land – dispersed across the proposed project area of 4,334 acres — in small plots without due notification under section 14Y of the Land Reforms Act, 1955. The notification is required for holding over 24 acres in rural areas.

Following a hearing conducted by the Land and Land Reforms Commissioner, Mr R.D. Meena, a JSW official said that the State Government had agreed to vest the 273 acres held over the permissible 24 acres and return it to the company on payment of a transaction fee.

“A long-term settlement of the disputed 297 acres of land is being processed. The administrative processing will be over by August 31. I believe, with this development, the last hurdle before the project was removed,” Mr Biswadip Gupta, Managing Director of JSW Bengal, told Business Line.

Comments were not available from Mr Meena.

Talking to newspersons at Writers' Buildings, the State Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Partha Chatterjee, said that the company was holding land in excess of the ceiling. “We will consider regularising the holding of the land subject to their submissions,” Mr Chatterjee said, adding that the State will enquire into all pending issues pertaining to land holding by the company. The district authorities are reportedly preparing a report on the issues concerned. “We are not against industry,” he emphasised.

Mr Gupta, however, said that the company was offered possession of over 3,800 acres of vested land through an order, issued by the erstwhile Left Front Government. In addition, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation allotted and “granted possession” of 196 acres and the company acquired 297 acres directly. “As the land acquired directly from farmers are distributed across the project area, unless the land holding was regularised, it was useless for us to get the residual land registered in our favour. Once this dispute (on holding 297 acres beyond ceiling) is resolved, we can immediately enter into land-deeds and achieve financial closure of the project.”

Published on August 10, 2011

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