Naveen's industrialisation dreams for Odisha turn to ashes

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Bhubaneswar, July 23: Naveen Patnaik's aspiring dreams of developing his mineral rich state - Odisha-- were hanging crucially on the three large foreign investment proposals:

  • Mittal's Rs 40, 000 crore plan to set up a 12 million ton per annum steel plant in Keonjhar, where a large part of Odisha's iron ore is.
  • Vedanta's Rs 50, 000 integrated aluminium facility with its refinery at Lanjigarh and a smelter at Jharsuguda.
  • Posco's 12 million ton per annum port based steel plant near Paradip at a cost of Rs 52, 000.

Naveen's dreams for Odisha turn to ashes

The Mittal affair never really went beyond the courtship stage and it also ended in bitter acerbity some time back.

Well, with Vedanta, the connection between the state government and the London based company is still going strong, but factors beyond the control of either party have conspired to ensure what increasingly looks like it's leading nowhere.

And Posco can take comfort from the fact that the state has managed to acquire the Korean company's scaled down demand for 2,700 acres of land since it still has a host of seemingly insurmountable odds to conquer before its truncated, 8 million ton per annum steel plant goes on stream.

So in short, Naveen's dream of making Odisha the most industrialised state in the country is fast turning sour.

FirstPost reports that the failure to get the three big ticket project going is bound to have a ripple effect on a host of other projects in the pipeline. Among them are Essar Steel (Rs 10,000 crore), Uttam Galva (Rs 9,000 crore) and Wellspun Power and Steel (Rs 6,000 crore). Just about the only two projects that are making progress, albeit at an excruciatingly slow pace, are the 6 million ton per annum Tata Steel in Kalinganagar and the 6 million ton per annum steel plant being set up in Angul by Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL).

With assembly elections due in less than a year, Naveen can hardly be expected to push his industrialisation agenda aggressively.

After all, industries don't bring in the votes.

And as far as Naveen is considered for that matter, votes is what matters. Industry can definitely wait!

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