Kiran, TRS cross swords over Bayyaram

Kiran, TRS cross swords over Bayyaram

Allocation made on assurance of steel plant in five years, asserts AP chief minister

The fight for Bayyaram iron ore in Andhra Pradesh has become worse with Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy and Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao taking extreme positions, complicating things for Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL). As the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, RINL is keen on having iron ore linkages within the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Despite strong opposition from Chandrasekhar Rao, who is demanding the cancellation of the allocation of Bayyaram mines to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the chief minister has made it clear that he will not withdraw the government order (GO). The GO was issued in the best interests of Telangana.

The chief minister dared Chandrasekhar Rao at a meeting in Sangareddy town on Monday to carry out his threat if he had any guts. 

“I challenge the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief, who warned me of launching an earth-shattering agitation over the allocation of Bayyaram mines to the Vizag Steel Plant. I have the capacity to survive any such earthquakes. I am never be afraid of such threats,” Reddy said.

His argument in supporting his action was that Rao had remained silent when Bayyaram mines were allotted to a private party during the regime of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, allegedly to YSR’s son-in-law’s Anil Kumar’s benami company. 

Reddy wondered why the TRS chief was making a hue and cry when the same Bayyaram mines were now allocated to the state-run Vizag Steel Plant.

“I have allocated Bayyaram mines to Vizag Steel Plant on the condition that it will establish a steel plant at Bayyaram itself in a span of five years, and bring more jobs to Telangana.That is why the government has allocated the mines to Vizag Steel Plant,” he explained.   

RINL’s dilemma

Stuck in an awkward situation over the Bayyaram mines, the RINL management said it was handicapped by not having any captive iron ore and coal mines despite being the major steel producer in the country.

According to an RINL release here, the company had signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh with a commitment to invest Rs 42,400 crore at the Partnership Summit. The company has gained approval for investments of over Rs 17,000 crore.

The RINL promises to take up scientific exploration at Bayyaram and two other iron ore mining sites in Telangana. It has expressed its intent to set up value addition facilities like beneficiation plant, pelletisation plant and steel mill, depending on the quantum of iron ore reserves available at Bayyaram in Khammam and other proposed allotment of mines in Warangal and Karimnagar districts.

Meanwhile, the TRS has called a bandh for May 3 in Medak district, from where the chief minister threw the challenge to Chandrasekhara Rao. “It is unfortunate that a chief minister is behaving like a street rowdy and challenging opposition. He is not a democratically elected leader but a nominee from Delhi. How would he know how  to deal with a democratically-just demand of Telangana people,”  TRS leader Etela Rajender said. 

He dared the government to move even a single shovel of Bayyaram iron ore out of the mine and face the consequences. 

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