Visakhapatnam

Left parties oppose Centre’s move to hand over VSP land to POSCO

Simmering anger: Leaders of Left parties staging a protest in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Simmering anger: Leaders of Left parties staging a protest in Visakhapatnam on Friday.  

Proposed joint venture will push the steel plant into the red, they say

The Left parties staged a dharna at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the GVMC administrative building on Friday evening to voice their protest against the visit of Union Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday. They said that the Minister will ‘hand over land belonging to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) to POSCO, the South Korean steel company, as part of the proposed joint venture.

Addressing the gathering, CPI (M) State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao and CPI district secretary B. Venkataramana warned the Centre of widespread agitations if it went ahead with the land deal involving the POSCO. “The BJP government has decided to allocate over 3,000 acres of land to the POSCO. We want the proposal withdrawn,” they said.

They alleged that the POSCO joint venture was against the interests of the steel plant. “The failure to allocate captive mines to the steel plant is an indication that the Centre is keen on handing over the land to the POSCO,” they said. However, the leaders welcomed the demand of the State government to set up a steel plant in Kadapa.

Mr. Narasinga Rao recalled that the POSCO had signed a pact for construction of a 12 million tonne steel plant in Odisha in 2005 but failed to set it up till date. “The company had made an agreement for setting up of a 10 million tonne steel plant in West Bengal in 2008 but failed to do so, Now, it is coming to Visakhapatnam to push the steel plant into the red,” Mr. Rao alleged.

The participants raised slogans ‘go back Steel Minister’ and ‘go back POSCO’.

Trade unions plan protest

Meanwhile, representatives of all trade unions of the steel plant on Friday decided to stage a protest during the visit of the Union Steel Minister. They sought the reason for the POSCO insisting on a joint venture with the steel plant when the State government wanted a new steel plant in Kadapa.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:49:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/left-parties-oppose-centres-move-to-hand-over-vsp-land-to-posco/article29926145.ece

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