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Vedanta to sell 300 acres of HZL land at Vizag

Aditya Sabharwal
At a time when the State government is making every effort to attract attention of global manufacturing companies and investors to set up base in AP, 300 acres of prime industrial land might soon be put on the block for residential purposes.
If sources are to be believed Hindustan Zinc Limited which comes under the aegis of Vedanta Resources might soon sell chunk of its prime 300 acres of land for residential purposes.
Formerly known as Metal Corporation of India it came to be known as Hindustan Zinc Limited in 1966 and then in 2002 Sterlite Industries India Ltd made an open offer to buy it wherein Vedanta Ltd owns 64.9% while the rest is controlled by the government of India.
Sterlite Industries is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc a diversified and integrated metals and mining group promoted by the billionaire Anil Agarwal.
As part of the NDA’s disinvestment plan for loss making PSU’s in 2000 the group had then made the offer to revive the unit, create more jobs and overall enhance the manufacturing facility in Vizag.
Since early 2012 the company has stopped production of its Zinc smelter unit in Vizag and no visible efforts have been made to revive this unit. The company had then citied pollution and unavailability of raw materials to be the main reasons for halting operations which resulted in job losses for more than  1300 direct and indirect workers.
Now after half a decade local activists have been clamouring on news that the company is looking to make an astounded profit and exit by making this a real estate project.
Sources say that a consultant has been hired to evaluate an outright sale of this prime piece of industrial land wherein they have quoted prices of Rs. 3 crore per acre. This, if true, would leave the state gasping for prime industrial land which could well be allocated to sincere investors wanting to set up manufacturing/industrial bases here.
This is nothing but just another instance of a real estate deal wherein a company would profit multifold while leaving hundreds of potential job losses if not given for industrial purposes says an agitated activist.
‘How is it possible that just next to this unit there are HPCL and Corromandel fertilizers and don’t they produce any pollution? Why was HZL management allowed to stop production citing this reason’?
According to sources the company has approached the state government to get permission to convert this lucrative industrial land into residential and once converted would duly be sold. If true, the government should take cognizance of the fact that the state needs more industrial land if it truly aims for job creation and economic development of the state says the activist.
Email inquiries to the Vedanta’s spokesperson on the company’s plans to revive the Vizag unit/sale of the unit went unanswered.

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