Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, whose corporate entity is Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd., owes a great deal to the renowned leader of North Andhra - former Minister and former Lok Sabha member Bhattam Srirama Murthy. A brilliant speaker from his student days, Mr. Murthy as MP took upon himself the task of achieving the steel plant in the present shape after there were plans to make it a bits and pieces plant if not totally shelve it. At one stage, a Steel Minister even told him he was being a big headache to the Government, sitting in the opposition insisting the plant be set up in Vizag. Perseverance pays and Mr. Murthy, who had fought great electoral battles in the region in his four decades of illustrious political career, succeeded in whatever he wanted – whether it is a hike in the compensation for displaced persons, R cards or jobs for them. His long speeches in the Parliament advocating the cause of Vizag steel plant make up a mini library and are worth preserving by the VSP which is now in expansion mode, doubling its capacity. Any recognition or a word of acknowledgement of the great leader’s effort for making the Vizag steel plant a reality would also bring him immense happiness in the evening of his life.

Riveting stuff

Nothing rivets mankind’s attention more than doomsday prophecies. Several prominent names come to mind when predictions about impending doom are talked about.

Nearly three decades back, the fall of skylab had people in a panic. That nothing catastrophic happened was a different matter. Hollywood that thrives on death and destruction has found a new dreadful saga in doomsday. After the invasion of ‘aliens’ end of the world seems to be the favourite.

But even when aliens are the theme of a film, Steven Spielberg has come out with ET, considered a very humanising film. It’s a charming coincidence that it released around the same time as Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi.

Unusual gift

Journalists who attended the launch of the patrol vessel ‘Lalpari’ of the Customs Department were given an ‘unusual gift’ by the organisers.

They boarded the vessel to know what the guests had to say about the vessel. Even as they were interacting with the guests, the organisers in their over enthusiasm, asked the media personnel over the public address system to disembark from the vessel as it was designed to carry a maximum of 25 persons.

Many of the scribes were already in a bad mood after having had to reach the DC Jetty of Port riding their motorbikes through the coal dust slurry on the road and inhaling the dry dust that emanated from the tippers as they passed by.

Water was sprinkled on the roads to prevent coal dust from scattering in the atmosphere.

But the water tankers overdid it on Monday and the result was a splash of slurry on the shirts of some journos as tippers crossed their path. The telltale dark spots on their shirts bear testimony to the hardship the residents and employees face everyday while traversing the Port roads.

(Prabhakkar Sharma, G.V. Prasada Sarma and B. Madhu Gopal)