Tata Steel has sought time till December 2018 from the government to start infrastructure development activity at its proposed 500-hectare, multi-product, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project in Gopalpur, Odisha at a cost of ₹493 crore, saying it was awaiting formal environment and Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) approvals.
On the reasons for the delay in executing the project, a note on the agenda for the meeting of the inter-ministerial Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs stated quoting Tata Steel Ltd. said, “As per guidelines of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF and CC), development activities within the SEZ can only be taken up after approval of environment and CRZ clearances.” It added, “Tata Steel had applied for Environment Clearance (EC) on March 24, 2017 and CRZ clearances on July 3, 2017, and finally Expert Appraisal Committee of MoEF and CC. Recommended for grant of EC and CRZ clearance on October 16, 2017. The... approval letter of EC and CRZ clearance is expected by end of November, 2017, post which the infrastructure development activity would be taken up.”
‘8 extensions given’
The BoA meeting agenda note said, “the Development Commissioner, Falta SEZ, (in charge of the matter) has recommended the request of extension for a period of a year, as requested (by the company) up to December 17, 2018 in view of the reasons given for the delay.” The project had received a Letter of Approval (LoA) from the authorities on June 18, 2007. It has already received eight extensions, the note said, adding that the first approval was only for three years. The LoA is valid up to December 17, 2017.
Details of the business plan show that of the ₹493 crore, investment in land and site development is ₹230 crore, and another ₹123 crore is for construction, in addition to ₹70 crore each for ‘plant and machinery’ and ‘other overhead’. As per the note, the company had invested a total of ₹198.46 crore till September-end, 2017.
The matter will be considered by the Board of Approval, the apex decision-making body on SEZ related issues, on November 17.
Source: The Hindu