Will return Salboni project land to farmers for free: Jindal Group
A fortnight after JSW announced that it has put its proposed steel-cum-power plant at Salboni on hold, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said jindal group has decided to surrender the 294 acres purchased directly from farmers for the project.
A fortnight after JSW announced that it has put its proposed steel-cum-power plant at Salboni on hold, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the group has decided to surrender the 294 acres purchased directly from farmers for the project.
"The Jindal Group has communicated to Finance Minister Amit Mitra that it desires to hand over the land acquired from the farmers. It said it would not take back the money given to the farmers while acquiring the land," Banerjee told reporters.
The Chief Minister said since the plant was not coming up, the farmers who gave their land sought its return.
"The major part of the land of the proposed project which was taken by the company from the government is still with them. We will see what they do with it in future," she said.
The total land in the possession of Jindal group for the project was 4,300 acres out of which 294 acres were purchased from the farmers.
Mamata said a committee headed by the district magistrate would be formed to work out the procedure for returning the land to the farmers.
Describing Jindal's decision to return the land to the farmers as a "bold" move, she said, "We have been talking of the same thing in respect of Singur".
JSW chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal on December 1 had said the company has put the Rs 35,000 crore project at Salboni in West Midnapore district on "hold" over uncertainty of raw material linkages.
Jindal said JSW Bengal had invested Rs 700 crore in the project and was keen about the project but given the unclear situation about coal and iron-ore, it was not practical to go ahead with the project.
JSW Bengal currently do not have either coal or iron-ore linkages for the Salboni project.
The MoU for the project was signed in 2007 when the Left Front government was in power in the state.
Trinamool Congress state president and MP Subrata Bakshi had on Wednesday took part in a dharna at Salboni where he said, if JSW could not set up the project, it should return the land.
The Rajasthan chief minister said the state may have to bear a burden of Rs 1,736 crore if it purchases the imported coal, as stated by the power ministry