The Congress party on Saturday launched a counter offensive in support of Bayyaram mines lease to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) stating that it would not affect the interests of Telangana.

Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka welcomed the government’s decision to grant lease of mining to RINL claiming that the apprehensions in the minds of some people were wrong. Claiming that there was no question of flight of mineral resources from Bayyaram for other purposes, Mr. Bhatti said it was ridiculous to oppose the lease.

He clarified that RINL, which did not have a single mining lease for iron ore in the State, was given the right to mine the areas in Khammam district. He said only mechanised mining would be taken up in the areas where the lease had been granted.

Justifies decision

Defending the government’s decision, the Deputy Speaker said a state of the art beneficiation plant and a pellet plant would be set up in Bayyaram.

The investment for both the projects would be Rs. 2,500 crore.

He noted that depending on the iron ore quantity available, an integrated steel plant with one million tonne per annum capacity could be set up at the same place. He said the investment would be Rs. 4,000 crore and it would generate employment for not less than 4,000 people.

Mr. Bhatti Vikramarka allayed the fears of the local people as well as other political parties that the mining lease would benefit Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

AICC secretary Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, at another press conference, thanked the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for granting lease to RINL to mine the iron ore at Bayyaram.

He said the Chief Minister had promised to establish a steel plant in Bayyaram. He faulted the opposition to the mining lease by the TRS and other parties.