Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up an integrated steel plant either in Khammam or in Warangal district in tune with the constitutional right of a region’s people to utilise their natural resources locally.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the TRS chief sought allocation of iron ore extracted from mines in Khammam, Warangal and Karimnagar districts to the steel plant. Mines were allotted to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) on the condition that it should set up a beneficiation plant first and an integrated steel plant later at Bayyaram in Khammam by utilising the iron ore from the three districts.
However, a memo issued by the State government on April 17 had stated that prospecting licences to RINL, Visakhapatnam, were accorded exclusively in Karimnagar and Warangal districts. The memo issued by the government and statement issued by the Chief Minister on that day were contradictory and lacked clarity on setting up of steel plant in Bayyaram, KCR said. Terming the government decision as discriminatory, the TRS chief asked why RINL Vizag steel plant was allotted mines only in Telangana when it had applied for mines in Anantapur district too. Deprived of judicious socio-economic and political powers for over a half-a-century, the people of Telangana were struggling for statehood to the region in order to get their share in economic growth and prosperity, he stated. He also contested the attempts of Seemandhra leaders including the Chief Minister to link the issue with national interests and sought to know why the slogan in favour of the steel plant at Bayyaram was being faulted when there was no problem with a similar slogan in favour of steel plant at Visakhapatnam.
Telangana region would lose a good employment opportunity if the steel plant was not set up there, he said.