Tatas should use land for steel plant or return it: CPI (M)

The Odisha unit of the CPI (M) alleged that the Odisha government is showing undue favour to Tata Steel by allowing it to reuse the land acquired in Ganjam district for its shelved steel plant project for establishing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

“If at present State government is taking action against others who had not used the land for the purpose for which they had taken it on lease from the government, why cannot similar action be initiated against Tata Steel,” said CPI (M) State secretariat member Ali Kishore Patnaik.

Around 2,970 acres of land had been acquired in Ganjam district for a proposed mega steel plant project of the company, which has now been shelved.

Gopalpur Industrial Park

Tata Steel now proposes to develop an SEZ named ‘Gopalpur Industrial Park’ on this land. The company will establish a ferro-chrome plant and a rebar steel mill as anchorage industries of this SEZ at a cost of around Rs. 800 crore. These industries have not materialised yet.

The CPI (M) further said during land acquisition public notices mentioned that land was being acquired for ‘public purpose’ by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO) of the Odisha government.

Silence

“The law of the land clearly states that a government allotted land cannot be used for any purpose other than for which it was allotted. But the government is silent over the issue,” said Mr Patnaik.

The land should have been returned to displaced owners after five years. If it is to be used for any other commercial purpose like the proposed SEZ, it should be re-valued, and the displaced families should get the benefits, said Mr. Patnaik.

Content Courtesy: The Hindu

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