Himachal may extend time limit of cement firms

Shimla, March 21 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh may extend the deadline for companies to start cement mega-plants in the state as they have failed to finish the job within the fixed time-frame, Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said here Thursday.

“The companies have cited reasons for delay in the commissioning of the projects. These range from pending court cases to delay in getting environmental clearances,” the minister told the assembly.
As per the memorandums of understandings (MoUs), most of the companies have to commission the projects by March 31, he added.
The companies include Jaypee Himachal Cement Ltd – a subsidiary of the diversified group Jaiprakash Associates, Harish Cement Limited – a subsidiary of Grasim Cements Limited, Lafarge India and India Cements Ltd.
Jaypee has entered into an agreement with the state government for setting up two facilities — one in Solan district and another in Chamba district. Harish Cement and Lafarge have been allotted limestone mines in Mandi district and India Cements in Shimla district.
“Jaypee, which was allotted mines in Arki tehsil of Solan three years ago, has taken necessary steps for setting up the facility,” the minister said.
Agnihotri said the facilities operating in the state have been producing 11 lakh million tonnes of cement annually.
He said nine companies have applied for licences to identify limestone mines in the state to set up plants.
“The government will soon decide the fate of the companies (to extend their time limit for completing the plants),” the minister added.