Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, urged the union steel minister Virendra Singh to direct the Steel Authority of India Ltd.(SAIL) to set up a cement plant in the state by making operational the lime stone mines allotted to the PSU.

Patnaik said that the state has allotted on lease limestone and dolomite mines spreading over 230 hectares of land to SAIL. However, SAIL has stopped raising from the mines since 2003.

Patnaik was called on by the union steel minister, here on Tuesday.

The chief minister urged Virendra Singh to upgrade the Biju Patnaik Steel Institute (BPSI) into a national institution.  Established in 2002, BPSI is running certificate courses. However, it was in 2004, the union cabinet had taken a decision to upgrade BPSI into a national institute by introducing BTech, MTech and PhD courses . He said that the Centre should take steps to implement the cabinet decision.

The state steel minister, Prafulla Mallick, development commissioner R Balakrishanan, and steel secretary RK Sharma were present.