According to Union Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste, the Central government will prioritise bolstering the Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) at this time rather than privatising it. On the sidelines of a Rozgar Mela, he made the announcement. Kulaste told reporters in the port city, “As of now, we don’t have any plan like that (a sale), but in the following days, we will perform better, including fixing some mining-related issues.
The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), which is owned by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), published a notice in the media on March 27 inviting expressions of interest (EoI) from interested bidders for funding of working capital/raw material requirements in exchange for the supply of steel by RINL. K Chandrashekar Rao, the chief minister of Telangana and the leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), made an immediate offer to submit an expression of interest (EoI), which literally caught Andhra Pradesh’s top political figures off guard.
While Bayyaram (the location of the proposed steel plant under the Reorganisation Act) is only 150 km distant, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, roughly 600 kilometres from Bailadila, could have profited by receiving Bailadila as a captive mine. KTR questioned how the transportation of ore from Bailadila to Bayyaram and VSP could be deemed technically impractical when the same facility is being extended to Adani’s business in Mundra, Gujarat, which is 1,800 km away. Despite being close to the ports of Vizag and Gangavaram, RINL needs more coal and iron ore mining links. Because of this, the cost of purchasing coal and iron ore in FY2021–22 was Rs 9,051.13 crore and Rs 7,213.17 crore, respectively. The corporation spent 64 per cent of its budget on raw materials.
Because of this, the cost of purchasing coal and iron ore in FY2021–22 was Rs 9,051.13 crore and Rs 7,213.17 crore, respectively. Costs associated with raw materials accounted for 64% of the company’s expenses during that fiscal year. RINL recorded losses totalling Rs 1,604 crore, Rs 1,263 crore, and Rs 1,369 crore from FY2016 to FY2018. The company declared losses of Rs 3,910 crore and Rs 1,012 crore in FY 2020 and 2021.RINL recorded losses totalling Rs 1,604 crore, Rs 1,263 crore, and Rs 1,369 crore from FY2016 to FY2018. The company declared losses of Rs 3,910 crore and Rs 1,012 crore in FY 2020 and 2021.
The tragic fate of the steel plant reminds people of the wave of violent demonstrations that stoked Andhra’s enthusiasm in favour of the steel plant in Visakhapatnam during Indira Gandhi’s tenure as prime minister in the middle of the 1960s. “Visakha Ukku, Andhrula Hakku” (Visakha steel plant is the right of the Andhra people) was the slogan of the protests. Four protestors from Telangana, a part of Andhra Pradesh at the time, were among the more than 30 demonstrators who died during the agitation. In Vijayawada, the angry mobs tore down a statue of Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, a Union minister in the Indira Gandhi administration at the time, and tossed it into an irrigation canal.
In Vijayawada, the angry mobs tore down a statue of Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, a Union minister in the Indira Gandhi administration at the time, and tossed it into an irrigation canal. The agitators targeted Sanjeeva Reddy, a native of the Rayalaseema region, because they believed he was working against the location of the plant in Visakhapatnam.