The mega steel project of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW group at Salboni in West Midnapore is still facing land glitches after over three years of ‘permissible possession’. The Group is planning to invest Rs 20,000 crore in the first phase of the project, which would include 3-million tonne steel plant, 300 MW power plant, cement plant and a township.
JSW Bengal Steel joint managing director Biswadip Gupta had a long meeting with the state commerce and industry minister Partha Chatterjee, WBIDC MD Nandini Chakraborty and other state officials regarding the project. After the meeting, Chatterjee told reporters that some land-related issues need to be settled. “The land commissioner has called JSW people for hearing on August 10. We shall discuss about the project with them after that,” he said.
Chatterjee added that JSW Group has given a presentation about the roadmap of the project. Later, the JSW Bengal Steel joint MD said that there is an issue with the lease deed as far as the steel project is concern. “We have not yet got the lease deed. As soon as we get it for 4,334 acres, the company will proceed for financial closure,” he added.
Incidentally, the land was handed over to JSW Bengal in May 2008. Gupta explained that there is some technical problem that has delayed the process of lease deed. “We had bought 294 acres from land owners. Now there is provision of clearing 14Y (land ceiling rule) before buying or you can do it after purchase. In this case, 14Y was not cleared before purchase. The registration of that land has already been done, but due to some technical delay 14Y was not cleared,” he added.
It may be noted that as per Land Ceiling Act, nobody can possess more than 24 acres. Gupta pointed out that it had got 3,869 acres from the state government that was vested land under animal husbandry and land department. The company bought 294 acres directly and another 169 acres were bought by WBIDC on their behalf, which was later handed over to JSW Bengal. Gupta was hopeful that land issue will be sorted out in the meeting with land commissioner R D Meena on August 10. “It is a minor issue and will be sorted out,” he added.
According to him, the ground breaking of the project might take place after the Puja if the issue is sorted out.