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Environment

Oct 08, 2003
Forests envelop a steel town

What’s the story? How did that happen? Vishakapatnam Steel Plant or Vizag Steel as it’s popularly known, has an 8 kM long front on the Bay of Bengal. To offset the attack of saline air, a half kilometer deep buffer zone was set aside for afforestation. The management decided to plant a tree for each tonne of steel it produced. But once the programme began in 1986, its success got the better of the managers. As against a target of 100,000 trees per year, almost twice that number has been planted so far. Soon they ran out of space in the buffer area and trees proliferated in the housing zone. Peacocks, other birds and small game arrived. Micro-climate changed. The steel plant lost its primacy to the woods: they began to call it ‘a steel plant in a forest’.

In such a setting it is easy to lose the chimneys for the woods. Nemani says, “Vizag Steel itself is one of the most modern steel plants in the country and a government run unit which has revitalized itself and shown Rs.400 crore profit this year. It is aiming for a Rs.1000 cr. profit in 2004. It is clearing off all its outstanding debts and will be debt free by 2004. The privately owned Tata Steel is the only other indian steel company which is in a similar good shape.”

Could it be that nature takes care of your profits if you take care of it?

Nemani recommends this link if you want to read more about this exciting story.

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