MESCO steel

Mesco awaits Supreme Court verdict on Kalinganagar land

BHUBANESWAR: Mesco Steel on Monday reiterated its commitment to continue to the industrial growth of the state.
Highlighting that it was eagerly awaiting resolution of a legal dispute over 825 acres land in Kalinganagar, the company said we are ready to start construction work once the matter is resolved by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Dismissing as baseless some allegations over the forcible acquisition of land, a company spokesperson said, “Government of Odisha had acquired the land and handed over the same to Swaraj Paul. However, after Paul backed out of the deal, as a gesture of goodwill Mesco offered to take over the project and spent large sums of money in creating boundary walls, levelling of the site, facilities for blast furnace piling, construction of 144 rooms and administrative blocks. We were assigned 825 acres of this land while the remaining land was given to Visa and Jindal Steel.”

The Government of Odisha subsequently asked Mesco to make payments, and as the latter agreed after receiving the notice, the Government reneged on its offer and took over the land. “Mesco was forced to seek justice the High Court of Odisha decided in our favor and land was handed over to us again in 2007.”

The Government of Odisha challenged the verdict in Supreme Court of India, and the matter is sub judice. “We are ready to resume work on this stretch of land as soon as we get the verdict from Hon’ble Court. Meanwhile, there are no villages on the said 825 acres, and falsehood is being propagated about denial of rights to farmers,” added the spokesperson. Mesco, meanwhile has lost two collaborations – one financial and one technical – awaiting a verdict on this.

He added, “Our commitment to people of Odisha is sacrosanct. We are the only debt-free company in the stressed steel sector. Some vested interests continue to create a nuisance, and that does not deter us from our focus on contributing to the industrial growth of the state and welfare of its people.”