As we mentioned in Part One, there is a time lag between the milestones set up for the park at the planning stage and the ground realities. One of the reasons for this is that same old perennial problem that plagues almost all major projects in India – land.
Delays in land acquisition have become a stumbling block. Odisha is also the state where India’s largest steel project by the Korean firm Posco has not gone past the planning stage, despite six years having gone by, because of land acquisition controversies.
Last month, the Hindu Business Line reported that the delay in land acquisition for the Angul park and its infrastructure development has put prospective investments in jeopardy.
Quoting State Industries department sources, the news report stated that of the total land requirement — 204 acres in the first phase — only 65.41 acres of land had so far been secured in favor of IDCO.
Question marks hover over other elements of infrastructure such as roads and power supply. An alternative approach has to be planned, as the existing road is not adequate.
On July 31, two of the eight units of Nalco’s captive power plant at Angul had collapsed due to the failure of the eastern supply grid.
The Angul Aluminum Park Private Limited had floated an expression of interest, inviting interested entrepreneurs to establish their units at the park, despite these issues. In response, 53 proposals, including industries in downstream as well as ancillary sectors had been received. Midal Cables was part of these 53 proposals.
The optimistic Midal Cables management had earlier appealed to the state government and Nalco to expedite the proposal. The industry will keep a close watch on the developments on this front to understand whether such parks are the way to go in the future.
Sohrab Darabshaw contributes an Indian perspective to MetalMiner.