Union Minister of Steel Virbhadra Singh has urged Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to “supply an additional 39 MVA of power for running the new Steel Melting Shop” of Salem Steel Plant (SSP) so that it could go on stream.

Responding to the letter, which the Chief Minister wrote, on the issue of providing employment opportunities to the family members of those who had given land for establishing the steel plant, the Union Minister pointed out that the SSP management had made a request to the Government of Tamil Nadu for the supply of additional power, which, he said was under consideration.

“I would be grateful if you look into this matter for ensuring that the augmented facilities at the plant go on stream,” he said.

Idea hailed

Welcoming the Chief Minister's idea of having separate employment exchange for the plant, the Minister said preference had been given to those displaced by the plant.

With regard to age relaxation to 35 years for the displaced persons, he said the request could be considered as a special dispensation for “future requirements.”

In respect of the demand for stopping the present interview to recruit 78 personnel, he pointed out that the expansion programme of the Plant “is at a very advanced stage and is likely to be commissioned at any time.”

Hence the requirement and placement of manpower would be important for the expanded facility to go on stream.

“It has also been specified in this recruitment that preference will be given to displaced persons. The recruitment process is also at a final stage with the preparation of letter of appointment to the short-listed candidates,” he added.Veerapandi MLA A. Raja distributed the copies of the letter here on Saturday to the displaced persons who are seeking employment in the plant saying the Chief Minister was making concerted efforts to mitigate their problems.

Family members of those who provided lands for the plant have been on a series of agitations demanding employment. The issue was also raised on the floor of the Assembly.