Kadapa: Hopes revived for the establishment of a steel plant in the district with the Central government initiating steps in that direction. A committee formed by the Centre will be visiting the district during the first week of January 2018 to study the feasibility.
According to the sources, the panel along with a Delhi-based MECON Advisory Organisation representatives are expected to inspect the railway line, power grid, Mailavaram and Gandikota Reservoirs, natural resources and infrastructure facilities available at the site allocated in Jammalamadugu mandal for the purpose.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who visited the Kadapa district, for attending 100-year celebrations of Annie Besant High School in Proddaturu town during the first week of December, hinted about the setting up of steel plant.
He has asked the Mining department to speed up the works. A high-level committee meeting was organised headed by Joint Secretary of the Central Mining department on December 27th in which AP Mining Secretary Sridhar, APMDC MD Venkaiah Chowdary, members of Task Force committee, and MECON Advisory Organisation representatives participated.
The AP mining officials explained to Centre’s panel about the availability of limestone and dolomite in Kadapa district, and an iron ore in adjacent Anantapur district. The officials also recalled the written assurance given by Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu for providing 2,000 acres of land for the purpose.
Meanwhile when contacted by The Hans India, political parties have expressed different opinions over the issue. Welcoming the decision of the Central government, CPI district secretary Eswaraiah has said if the Centre is clear in establishing the steel plant it will be new year gift for Kadapa people as around 1.25 lakh would get direct and indirect employment.
CPM district secretary Anjaneyulu has said people of Kadapa are not prepared to accept any industry other than steel plant. He further said that party national secretary Sitaram Yechuri is trying to unite all parties under one umbrella in support of the demand for the construction of steel plant. Steel Plant Sadhana Samithi (SPSS) president Praveen Kumar Reddy expressed hopes that the steel plant would be established in the district.
It may be recalled that former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had laid foundation for steel plant in the name of Brahmani Steels on June 10, 2007 in Jammalamadugu mandal. It was planned that the project would be completed in 10 years with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore with an aim of providing direct and indirect employment to 1.2 lakh people.
The government has issued GO for utilisation of 2 tmcft of water from Mailavaram Reservoir for the purpose. After foundation stone, project works relating to the construction of blast furnace, central plant, reservoir, power plant, substation, town ship for the workers etc were taken up with the investment of Rs 1,300 crore.
However, works were stopped following cancellation of water allocation and lands by the government due to various reasons. Gali Janardhan Reddy, who was main partner of the project, was arrested then. It was also found that Mailavaram Reservoir does not contain sufficient water.