VSP issue may impact chances of candidates in Zone VI

The Centre’s move to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), the corporate entity of the RINL, is expected to have an impact on the prospects of the contesting candidates in the Zone VI in the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) elections, slated for March 10.

The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to dissociate itself from the issue, and had even opposed it initially, while leaders of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the Opposition Telugu Desam Party(TDP) are blaming each other for failing to exert pressure on the Centre over the years to allot captive mines for the VSP, which could have saved it from the present situation. Jana Sena Party (JSP), which has an alliance with the BJP in the State, does not want to antagonise the people on the issue. JSP president Pawan Kalyan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to drop the proposal.Against this backdrop, all the political parties are worried over the fate of their candidates in the GVMC polls and are trying to send a strong signal to the people that they are against any move to privatise the VSP.

The ward No. 78 has 9,913 voters, all living in Sector 3 to 11 of the VSP, and the residents of Sectors 1 and 2 and the Steel Plant Township CISF Colony are included in Ward No. 77. The steel plant was achieved after several struggles and 32 persons lost their lives in the agitation, and the people of the city have an emotional attachment with the plant.

GVMC Zone VI falls mainly in Gajuwaka Assembly constituency but a few wards in the zone extend over Visakhapatnam West and Pendurthi Assembly constituency.

Many of the retired employees of the VSP have settled along with their families in various colonies, which have come up in the outlying areas of the Steel Township. Over 22,000 acres of land was acquired from the people for establishment of the plant and the rehabilitation colonies have also come up in the industrial area.

Other issues

The 2-km Main Road from Kurmannapalem Junction to the flyover, which connects to the Duvvada Railway Station, could not be widened from the existing 60 feet to 100 feet due to lack of coordination between the GVMC and VUDA (now VMRDA). Only a 400-metre stretch was widened to 100 feet, as per the Master Plan, while the remaining 1.6 km is only 60 feet, according to VUDA Nagar Phase-1 residents K. Eswar and P.R. Khan.

Underground drainage (UGD) work has not been taken up in VUDA Nagar Phase-1 to 7, Rajeev Nagar, Fakir Tekya and Rasalamma Colony. Open drains and stagnation of water is leading to the proliferation of mosquitoes, says Mr. Eswar.

The failure of the YSRCP government to hand over the TIDCO houses constructed at Gajuwaka during the previous TDP government, is likely to work in favour of the TDP nominees, say local people.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 10:57:35 AM |

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