It has been common knowledge for some time now that India is not ready for land- and capital-intensive projects. So it is hardly surprising that steel king Lakshmi Mittal reiterated that sentiment on Thursday. He was speaking against the backdrop of his stalled efforts to set up mega steel projects in Orissa and Jharkhand.
Wags will, of course, say that he was proven wrong the same day when Karnataka government opened its arms to him. Mittal may be given 4,000 acres of land. A PTI report said a state government committee had cleared the mining lease application of his company, ArcelorMittal.
He may yet be proven right about India not being project-ready, this time in Karnataka.
Acquiring 4,000 acres of land in that part of Karnataka where iron ore is not far away only spells trouble, given the state’s recent political turbulence at the hands of iron ore barons. The ore lobby calls the shots in the state and the chief minister’s efforts may come to naught. There is more than mere investment that’s at stake here.