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Telugu states press on for steel plants

Political row erupts in Andhra and Telangana

Gulf News

Hyderabad: After the Centre declared the proposals for setting up two steels plants in Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) and Bayyaram in Telangana as “unviable”, both state governments have started exploring alternative ways to set up the plants.

In Andhra Pradesh a new political row has erupted over the issue as a Telugu Desam MP CM Ramesh has threatened to go on a fast unto death over the issue. The Telangana government has set up a committee to explore the possibilities of setting up the plant on its own.

In a fresh development the Andhra Pradesh unit of CPIM has given a call for the state-wide shut down on June 29 in support of the steel plant. The state committee secretary P Madhu told the media that the steel plant in Kadapa was one of the key promises made to Andhra Pradesh as part of the package at the time of bifurcation of the state.

Ramesh in a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has threatened that if immediate steps were not taken to set up the steel plant he will be forced to launch indefinite fast as the Centre’s stand has hurt the feelings of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Last week the Centre in its affidavit in the Supreme Court had said that the steel plants in both the states were economically unviable.

The Telangana government was exploring the possibilities of two key public sector enterprises of the state Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd and TS Mineral Development Corporation joining hands to set up the steel plant in Bayyaram in Khammam district.

Principal Secretary Industries of the state government Jayesh Ranjan, who set up the committee to go into all the aspects of the proposal, said, “both the companies have an impressive track record in mining based activities”.

The committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Energy Department with top officials of various other departments as members will explore aspects like location of the plant, source of the iron, transportation, water and power sources, coal linkage, concessions and incentives to make the project viable.

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