Centre slams Orissa for Posco delay
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Korean steel giant Posco's ambitious 12 million tonne integrated steel project worth Rs 52,000 crores is likely to face further delays as the Orissa government is yet to make up its mind on recommending any captive mine for it even after three years of signing the MoU with the company. "We do not understand why is it taking so long time. We understand that they (Orissa government) were slated to complete the public hearing on all applicants for the Khandhadhar mines. We have not yet received any recommendation from them so far," secretary mines ministry J P Singh told The Indian Express.
When contacted Posco's chief Delhi representative Vikas Sharan said " We are eagerly awaiting the recommendation from Orissa government to central government with regard to prospecting licence of Kandhadhar mines." He further said that he was hopeful that it would be sent shortly. There were as many more than 150 applicants for the Kandhadhar mines. Following the signing of the MoU in 2005 and in 2006 the state government asked the Centre to grant licence to Posco to carry out prospecting over 6000 hectares of the said mines. But the Centre asked the state to re-consider its recommendation.
Now, even the Prime Minister's Office has expressed its anguish over the delays in the South Korean giant's project and has asked the state government to expedite clearances for the same.
In October last year, the state government asked the applicants to submit their papers by the end of the month. There were initially 290 applicants for the mines. The key applicants included Kudremukh Iron ore Company Ltd (KIOCL) and the Jindals. Reports say that the Naveen Pattnaik government has completed the public hearing on the issue recently and is likely to recommending PL for Kandhadhar mines to Posco again.
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