Chennai: Accusing the previous Jayalalithaa government of not acquiring land for its titanium project in Tuticorin district due to “unruly elements and illegal mining” in the area, the Tata Steel on 14 August said it would go ahead with the Rs2,500-crore project.
“The project is definitely on,” Tata Steel Managing Director B. Muthuraman told reporters here Monday.
When asked if the reason for the previous government not acquiring the land was the unruly elements, he said “definitely”. The company had signed an MoU with the AIADMK government for the project in 2002. However, the project did not take off as the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa did not clear the file on the project.
“We want to do the project with the support of the people. Almost three-fourth of the people in the area are supporting the project. The remaining have some doubts. We will clear those doubts in the minds of those people. We want to execute the project because the people want it,” he said in the wake of stiff opposition to the project from allies of the DMK-led government and opposition parties.
“I am willing to have a debate with any cross-section of the people about the project,” he said while expressing surprise at the opposition to the project.
On whether the project was being politicised, he said, “I don’t know.”