Leaders of the AP NGOs’ Association on Friday said the protest against the Centre’s decision to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) would not stop till the move was dropped.
The association members took out a in city under the leadership of their State president N. Chandrasekhar Reddy, general secretary Bandi Srinivasa Rao and Krishna district president A. Vidyasagar.
Speaking to the media, Mr. Chandrasekhar Reddy said the VSP was a jewel in the State’s crown, achieved as a result of many sacrifices made by stalwarts who had led a movement that finally resulted in the construction of the plant in 26,000 acres.
He said the Centre was trying to privatise the plant on the pretext that it was incurring revenue losses.
Implementation of the Centre’s plan would result in loss of jobs to 16,000 permanent employees, 17,500 contract workers, and 1 lakh more jobs indirectly. He said it was unfair to deprive the State of the only public sector unit it had.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, instead of extending support for rejuvenation of the plant by doing the needful, it was unfortunate that the VSP, which was worth lakhs of crores, was being give away to private player for a mere ₹5,000 crore.
Mr. Rao said people were watching the BJP-led government’s policies that were proving detrimental to the interests of the States.
Mr. Vidyasagar accused the Centre of adopting a partisan view, and said non-allocation of mines to the plant reflected the discrimination the Modi government was resorting to.
The rally started at the AP NGO Home at Gandhinagar and reached the Alankar Centre via Lenin Centre, Eluru Road, Besant Road and CRDA office.