The Government of West Bengal is all set to reverse the global economic meltdown and this was amply demonstrated when documents for a vast landmass of 750 acres were officially handed over to Jai Balaji Group for its integrated steel plant at Raghunathpur in Purulia district by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation(WBIDC) on December 29.
The state Government has worked out an industrial development plan, spanning the least developed districts of Birbhum, Bankura and Purulia with the Durgapur industrial belt in the background v where West Bengal first made its industrial tryst after independence.
As a matter of fact, these areas belong to the geological area where mineral rich deposits like coal, iron and other minor metals are available and capital investment is required to exploit such minerals. To make things politically correct, the WBIDC and the state government are taking all measures to involve all shades of political opinions, prior research activities and compensation packages to land losers to make the upcoming mega projects to succeed in the above districts.
In fact, economic development needs to address socio-economic issues that are more important than displacement or evacuation. The corporate social responsibility of Balaji Group would go to the extent of meeting the critical gap like community development education. health, skill-training, counseling on careers for villagers who are unable to cultivate drought-prone soil. All these programme would be executed in association with the local panchayet bodies.
So far, 2793 landowners have given up their land for the Jai Balaji project which is setting up a 2 million ton steel plant, a 400 MW power and a one million ton cement plant in the first phase with an investment of Rs 16,000 crore. The eligible local people
Have already been inducted into various technical training schemes in the industrial training centre at Raghunathpur which has been upgraded with Rs 5 crore and in this scheme the Damodar Valley Corporation has involved itself which is also setting up a power facility there. It is expected that around 5000 persons will be recruited in the Jai Balaji plant.
However, Aditya Jajodiya CMD of Balaji Group admitted that the global meltdown would affect the project to the extent of 30 per cent because of demand recession.On the other hand the company has been able to get financial support worth Rs 700 crore of line of credit from 20 bankers with the State Bank of India in the lead.