Panel to check hiring at Odisha Tata Steel plant

Bhubaneswar, June 25 (IANS) A committee of the Odisha state legislative assembly would soon inspect Tata Steel's Kalinga Nagar plant to probe allegations that the company has not provided employment to the stipulated number of local people, an official said Tuesday.

Assembly deputy speaker Sananda Marandi, who is also the chairman of the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) committee of the legislative assembly, said his panel is planning to visit the plant either this month-end or early next month.

The plant, with a production capacity of six million tonnes per annum, is being built in Jajpur district, about 120 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

The government had directed industries operating in the state to provide 70 percent of jobs to the local people.

"We have an impression that that has not been followed by some companies," Marandi told IANS.

"We have received complaints that Tata Steel has not given adequate employment to local people," he said.

Marandi said the committee had sought information from the concerned district collector, who had expressed "his displeasure".

According to the information provided to the committee, at Kalinga Nagar plant, Tata Steel has offered jobs to only ten local people. Besides, about 200-250 local people are engaged in the construction work of the plant, Marandi said.

A senior Tata Steel official who did not wish to be identified told IANS that the information submitted by the district authority was outdated. The Kalinga Nagar project has generated as many as 39,496 jobs, of which 550 are held by regular employees of the company, he said.

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