Following are excerpts from a report in Statesman.

… Mr Bijay Kumar Panda, head of Essar Steel Orissa highlighted the advantages of his proposed project yesterday.

Mr Panda said that the people of Nuagada, Udayabata and Bijaychandpur are keen on an early establishment of the proposed steel plant.

Barring a couple of organizations, the people at large are interested in the project and they have accepted the RR policy adopted by the company, he claimed.

Mr Panda informed that Essar Steel Orissa Ltd (ESOL), which is fully owned by Essar Steel Ltd, is going to set up a 6 million tone per annum integrated steel plant at the cost of Rs 15,000 corers.

The project would require 1900 acres of land out of which 270 acres would be government land and the rest, private. He informed that the number of displaced families have not yet been ascertained because the land survey has not been completed.

He said that the company, the government and the people had all agreed to a rate of Rs 9.50 lakh per acre as compensation and that some people had already provided their land at the said rate.

Balram Parida of Nuagada village who had given his 70 decimals land for the project said he had also requested the Essar authority to emply his son. Speaking of the project, Mr Panda informed that the technology selected will be eco friendly and increase the iron ore reserves. He said that a beneficiation plant is located at Joda and Barbil so beneficiated ore will be transported through a slurry pipe line to Joda. Supply of iron ore through the pipe line will be cheaper too, he added.

He also informed 5500 people will be employed. The company will set up a 200 mega watt captive thermal power plant.

Meanwhile, the Paradip Krushak Manch has threatened to agitate if Essar failed to increase the compensation to Rs 25 lakh per acre.