Deccan Herald News Service reported that the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board has issued preliminary notification for acquisition of 3,382 acres in the Halligudi village of Mundargi taluk in Gadag to offer South Korean steel giant POSCO for its INR 32,366 crore steel project.
Sources in the Commerce and Industries department told Deccan Herald that "The notification was issued on March 28th 2011 and the KIADB is now in the process of issuing notices to land owners, including farmers. POSCO has already deposited INR 60 crore for acquisition of the land required for the project."
The firm, which was until recently embroiled in land acquisition problems in Orissa, where it had first proposed to set up a plant, had signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Karnataka during the global investors' meet in 2010.
Although Karnataka had said it was flexible and would acquire land wherever POSCO wanted it to, the latter had not zeroed in on the land until two months ago. It had identified three potential sites Gadag, Bijapur and Bagalkot for the project.
After the notices are served on all the land owners communicating the intent of acquiring the land, the matter would reach the KIADB Special Deputy Commissioner.
Sources added that "The special DC would hear all the owners and then there would be negotiations for compensation and only after all that is sorted will the final notification be served."
Senior officials are reportedly in talks with POSCO and its consultant Mecon Limited over the required infrastructure in the area.
Sources said that "Among other things, feasibility studies on the source of water for the project will be discussed. The option is between the Tungabadra river and the Alamatti dam."
While the Tungabadra is closer to the project site, Alamatti is be over 100 kilometers, they said, pointing out that the decision will, however, depend on what will be more conducive. On whether the company’s proposal to own captive mine, which it had clearly stated was a priority, was recommended for clearance from the Centre, sources said the matter is being heard.
According to sources, the Mines and Geology Department has already completed three hearings. The recommendation to the Centre seeking permission to allot captive mining licence to POSCO will be made by the department.
Mr Murugesh R Nirani Large and Medium Scale Industries Minister said that "The decision ultimately has to come from the Centre. We have initiated the process and are confident of having POSCO in our State." (sourced Deccanherald)