ITC: Enduring Value

Sab Saath Baadhein

Media Centre

ITC to develop 12,000 ha of plantations 03 Jul 2011

The Hindu Business Line

The Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division of the diversified ITC Ltd, which is in the process of taking up expansion of its manufacturing capacity, has sewn up plans to develop 12,000 hectares of forest cover under social forestry project during 2011-12 and follow this up over the next two years, according to Mr Sanjay K.Singh, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Ltd.

The company, which currently has developed about 1,15,000 hectares of forest cover over the last 30 years at Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, involving local farmers, land holders and tribals, sees this fresh addition serving twin objectives of meeting raw material requirement for the paper mill and for engaging various stakeholders.

"We had no choice but to develop green cover for the raw material requirement for the paper mill. It is estimated that we need about 15,000 hectares to run one new mill. This fresh addition would be able to meet the requirement for a new expansion project coming up at Bhadrachalam," Mr Singh told Business Line.

"The yield in India was about 6 tonnes a hectare against 25 tonnes a hectare in Brazil. Bringing in best practices, we had to innovate and improve the yield by integrating tribals into the company business. Every one gains in the system," he said.

"While one hears of farmers facing difficulty due to one problem or the other over the years, have you ever heard about any farmer taking to plantations losing or facing hardship?" Mr Singh asked.

The diversified group had earlier outlined plans to invest up to Rs 3,000 crore in the expansion of its paper making facility at Badrachalam, which effectively would nearly double its capacity over the next five years to 1 million tonnes an annum from about 4.5 lakh tonnes an annum.

The new unit with a capacity of about 3 lakh tonnes an annum has secured State clearance.

© ITC Limited