ITC Paper unit expansion awaits land allotment
The Paperboards and Speciality Papers Division of ITC Ltd. is awaiting land allotment for its Rs. 3,500-crore brownfield expansion project adjacent to its existing plant at Badrachalam in Andhra Pradesh. “The matter of land allotment is now part of the mega projects awaiting nods. This expansion project is part of projects under consideration by the Prime Minister’s Office, which is looking into various issues relating to implementation hurdles,” Sanjay K. Singh, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Ltd. PSPD, said. Sanjay Singh told Business Line that the company requires about 1,000 acres for expansion which will enable them to double its manufacturing capacity from the existing 5,00,000-tonnes-a-year capacity. The location is ideal but involves forest land allocation. The norms for allotment of forest land are stringent. The company has to undertake afforestation to compensate for the land allotted. A site in Ananthapur has been considered for development of forest tract, he said. The project has been under consideration for nearly two years and has the support of the State Government. But the issue of land allotment adjacent to the exiting site has held up the project’s expansion. “We expect the process to take six months. Only after allotment, we can take up public hearing and seek other clearances. The site is ideally suited as it has access to the Godavari river and a large plantation,” he said. SOCIAL FORESTRY The company has taken up social forestry in a big way, engaging local farmers. It covers 1,35,000 hectares and every year about 15,000 acres get added to the existing plantations. These provide raw material and again get replenished, benefitting the farmers. The raw material and other input costs for manufacture have gone up and paper prices have firmed up by 20-25 per cent, quoting at Rs 3,000 a tonne, he said.