Ballari: While the state government has reportedly decided to take back the 3,000 acres allotted to steel major, ArcelorMittal owing to its failure to use it for a steel plant as promised, the district administration has begun allowing farmers to graze their cattle on it.
Giving in to the plea of villagers, who have been suffering under a drought, the district administration has decided to permit them to graze their cattle and sheep on this vast expanse of land that ArcelorMittal had fenced, prohibiting them from entering it.
Villagers of Kudathini, Haraginadoni and Sultanpur, who met deputy commissioner, Ram Prasath Manohar for permission to graze their cattle, pointed out that it had been lying unused for six years and had abundant grass growing over it. Mr Manohar later explained he had permitted the villagers to graze their cattle on the land given to the steel major considering the failure of the monsoon and the severe drought .
Meanwhile, a senior officer of the department of commerce and industries confirmed that a Cabinet note had been prepared to take back the land allotted to ArcelorMittal.
Although the steel major has offered to set up a solar plant instead, the government does not seem keen on this change of plan. The company has blamed sluggishness in the steel sector for its decision to go back on its promise . Also, it had expected the government to allot it captive iron ore mines as assured during the Global Investors Meet-2010, but this was not possible owing to guidelines issued by the top court, said official sources....