Visakhapatnam: The Forum for Development of North Andhra has given a call to the people to protect the RINL-Visakhapatnam steel plant from privatisation.

General secretary of the Forum A. Aja Sarma noted that the steel plant was a jewel in the crown of Telugu states and condemned the decision of the Centre which proposed a strategic sale of the plant.

The steel plant was achieved after great struggles in which 32 people sacrificed their lives and the people’s representatives quit their posts. Now the Modi government is putting it up for sale which is nothing but cheating the Telugu people. They had acquired over 20,000 acres of land from the farmers in the name of public interest. The plant is supported by strong technical personnel and it remains the only shore-based steel plant in the country with assets worth about Rs.2.5 lakh crore. The government has no right to sell it,” he argued.

He also pointed out that over one lakh people depended on the plant for livelihood directly and indirectly. The people would not allow the Centre which had not bothered to implement the bifurcation act and separate railway zone, to sell away the steel plant, come what may, he stated, and demanded that the strategic sale proposal be dropped immediately.

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