Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to meet Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik here on 19 April to discuss the planned $12 billion (Rs51,600 crore) steel plant by South Korean steel maker Posco—a project plagued by delays over acquiring mines and land.
The chief minister, accompanied by government officials, is expected to brief the PM on the “progress” of the project, according to a state official who requested anonymity. If completed, Posco would represent the country’s largest foreign direct investment.
Construction of the 12 million tonne plant and a captive port was expected to begin in July last year, but the company has not yet managed to secure all the land, said a Posco official. Of the 4,004 acres needed, only 1,135 acres have been acquired for Rs2.87 crore.
Last month, the Centre had told the state to find alternative land for the project and begin obtaining environmental clearances.
According to an official in the Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corp., which is in charge of securing land for projects, 1,200 hectares of alternative forest land have already been identified.
The PM’s Office has been reviewing the project every alternate month for the past six months. Posco also faces trouble in acquiring mines, with multiple parties claiming rights over the mines that it wants to lease.