Vedanta to be growth engine of Orissa
03/23/2010

Unfazed by the controversies dogging his pet multi crore projects in Orissa - the alumina plant and international university, Mr Anil Agarwal , chairman Vedanta Group of Industries, continues to be ‘positive’ and excited about the projects while discussing with chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik.

Online PR News – 23-March-2010 – – Unfazed by the controversies dogging his pet multi crore projects in Orissa - the alumina plant and international university, Mr Anil Agarwal , chairman Vedanta Group of Industries, continues to be ‘positive’ and excited about the projects while discussing with chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik.

Issues relating to availability of raw material and water were deliberated as the smelter at Jharsuguda is to draw water from Hirakud and the bauxite from Niyamgiri which is being thrashed out at the apex court level. As far as the international university project at Puri is concerned, there have been protests over land acquisition. It is to be spread over 6000 acres of land and is planned on lines of the varsity-city concept matching the best in the world.

"I am the engine for growth and development of Orissa," remarked Mr Agarwal during an informal interaction with journalists.

The confidence of the man was reflected by his observation that he has always put the biggest projects. The audacity can be judged by the fact that his alumina plant has already come up at Lanjigarh and is currently on production with bauxite being supplied from other states.

The idea of setting up a plant at Lanjigarh was to have it virtually at the foothill of Niyamgiri bauxite deposits. Caught in a web of litigation, the mining proposal is now pending. "We have complied to each and every stipulation of the apex court," he said hoping that his plant will get the required raw material.

Speaking about the alumina plant project Mr Agarwal said that 5000 people have worked tirelessly for over four years and majority of them are locals, that’s the kind of commitment that leads to success. The added point, according to him is the fact that when locals are engaged and the area automatically develops .

Brushing aside questions on the controversies and opposition to his projects, Mr Agarwal insists on being positive. Prodded with such questions , he hints at international corporate competitors who perhaps don’t want to see such projects coming up in India. On the contentious issue over use of Hirakud waters, he said: "there is enough water and agriculture will not be affected".

Similarly, he seems confident of the international varsity project coming up near Puri. "It’s going to be much much bigger than any of its kind," he observed.
Initial plans were to start the varsity with fine arts but now it is going to begin with a medical college and a 600 bed hospital. "Preference will be given to students of the state ," he said. "Twenty five per cent of the seats will be reserved for meritorious students of the state," he said adding "the modalities are being worked out".

Source: http://www.orissadiary.com