AP plan to feed Vizag steel plant with Bayyaram ore triggers T-fever

AP plan to feed Vizag steel plant with Bayyaram ore triggers T-fever

The grandiose plan of the AP government to feed Vizag steel plant with iron ore from Bayyaram in Khammam district has boomeranged.

The announcement by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy that the Bayyaram mines which were recovered from a private company allegedly owned by YS Rajaasekhara Reddy’s son-in-law will be allocated for Vizag steel plant has fuelled the simmering Telangana demand. Vizag steel plant was hitherto depending on Bailadila mines in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh for its iron ore needs.

Even as pro-Telangana parties like the TRS, CPI and BJP intensified their attack on the government over proposed transfer of ore from Telangana region to coastal Andhra, leaders of the ruling Congress too aired contradictory views along regional lines.

Union minister of state for social justice P Balaram Naik, who hails from Telangana, backed the demand for establishing a steel plant at Bayyaram. However, infrastructure minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who is from Andhra supported CM, PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana chose to remain neutral.

Balaram Naik said a steel plant at Bayyaram would provide employment to locals and said he would soon request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider the demand.

However, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, found fault with those opposing allocation of Bayyaram mines to VSP. “Will you keep quiet if Andhra stops supplying milk and natural gas,” he questioned the T leaders. Addressing a meeting of the steel plant workers in Visakhapatnam, the minister said natural resources belong to the nation and it was not proper to kick up regional feelings over sharing of these resources.

PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana said, “An integrated steel plant might not be feasible at Bayyaram as the iron ore produced there is not of high quality. Technical experts told me this.” The PCC chief said the quality and quantity of the iron ore were not sufficient for establishing a steel plant at Bayyaram.

Following allegations by the TDP that TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was sold out to the ruling Congress in the Bayyaram issue, he broke his silence on the contentious issue and said he would soon meet Manmohan Singh to ensure that the ore is used within Telangana.

Declaring war on the government, he said his party would wage a battle against the government till its demand for establishment of a steel plant at Bayyaram in Khammam district was conceded.

“In the rest of the country, factories are being set up at places where mineral resources are aplenty. But the opposite is happening in our state. Telangana, which is blessed with abundant mineral wealth, is being meted out a raw deal in this regard.”

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