Tata steel faces procedural problems in CG

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Raipur, Aug 23 (UNI) In the wake of controversy over land acquisition for the Tata's small car project at Singur in West Bengal, the Chhattisgarh government today clarified that land allotment to Tata's steel plant in Bastar was delayed due to procedural problems.

''The state government is making efforts to provide the land to the Tata and Essar,'' state Industry Minister Rajesh Munat told UNI here today.

Refuting the allegations that state government was not working fast to complete the project, he said the land acquisition process for Tata was in the advance stage.

''The 80 per cent compensation to the affected farmers has been decided or distributed,'' he said, adding that as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Tata the water allotment work was almost completed.

In an assuring tone the minister said that Tata should not worry as situation like West Bengal would not arise here.

Tata Group is installing a steel plant worth Rs 10,000 crore in Bastar region and an MOU was signed in this regard two years back.

Protests made by local residents and tribals created some obstacles.

Suprisingly, Left Parties, which supported Tata's project in Singur, were protesting it in Chhattisgarh. While, ruling BJP and main opposition Congress were backing the project.

''The state government has invited Tata to invest in the state hence it wants to complete the project as soon as possible,'' Mr Munat said, adding that process of organising village meetings on land acquisition and environment take time.

He said that it was completely unfair to relate the isolated protest incidents with Singur case.

''The plus point in Chhattisgarh is that here ruling and opposition parties are having same stand,'' he said.

Mr Munat said that state government was accelerating the land acquisition process to Essar steel plant in tribal region.

He pointed out that development would catch the pace if Tata and Essar would set up their plants in naxal-affected tribal regions.

''Apprehensive of the development, insurgents and their sympathisers are inciting tribals to oppose the project,'' he added.

UNI XC-KV SP 1705

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