SHRI BIKASH CHOWDHURY (ASANSOL): Sir, I like to draw the attention of the House to the overall modernisation of Indian Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., Burnpur near Asansol, prime Steel Plant of India. The Steel Plant was nationalised in 1979 with an object of modernisation of this plant. Since then, several proposals for modernisation of IISCO have been mooted, but the Central Government has not been able to take decision on such a vital matter for the last twenty years.
In this connection, I like to submit that IISCO has ownership of vast properties consisting of large and valuable reserves of quality iron ore in the mines of Monohorpur, Gua and Chiria, several coking coal mines, Kulti works, manufacturer of Span Pines, etc. alongwith other raw materials, required for the ideal Steel Plant.
In the later stage, one proposal for the Joint Venture with T.P.E., a Russian firm was mooted with the Steel Authority of India Limited having 51 per cent share and the cost of modernisation was estimated at Rs.2,107 crore in 1997. Almost all the Unions, promoters and others agreed to such a package, but the Central Government has not been able to take a clear decision for implementation of this package yet. On the other hand, the workforce has already been reduced and existing workmen have already sacrificed so many facilities in the interest of modernisation of the Steel Plant. In view of this, I strongly urge upon the Ministry of Steel to consider revival and modernisation of IISCO without any further delay.