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Visakhapatnam: Ukku stir set to get into next level

Vizag ex-servicemen taking out a rally extending their support to Vizag Steel Plant Parirakshana Porata Committee in Visakhapatnam
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Vizag ex-servicemen taking out a rally extending their support to Vizag Steel Plant Parirakshana Porata Committee in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

Rasta roko planned at Maddilapalem junction on Feb 26

Visakhapatnam: Apart from the involvement of employees, political leaders and trade union representatives, the ongoing Ukku stir to witness public participation in the coming days. The 'Visakha Ukku - Andhrula Hakku' movement, which has so far been confined to rallies, relay hunger strikes and public sabhas, is set to take another form now. With the Union government refusing to budge, Visakha Steel Plant Parirakshana Porata Committee is calling for a statewide 'rasta roko'.

In Visakhapatnam, the rasta roko is scheduled on February 26 at Maddilapalem junction at the National Highway. In addition, the committee members decided to stage massive protests across the district on March 12. Four days later, the committee will prepare a roadmap on its future course of action. The Ukku stir is going on for over two weeks now without either affecting the production or causing any public inconvenience.

However, with the Union government refusing to pay any heed to withdraw its privatisation move so far, the trade unions and the Left parties intend to take their protest to the next level.

Meanwhile, the committee strongly opposed the proposal of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to improve the cash reserves of VSP by converting the unused lands of the plant extending up to 7,000 acres into layouts. Visakha Akhila Paksha Karmika Sanghalu Praja Sanghala Vizag Steel Plant Parirakshana Committee chairman M Jaggu Naidu says, "Developing real estate on the plant lands is not a solution to the burning issue. The State government should think beyond such proposals to help steel plant continue as a PSU."

Earlier, former TDP MLA from Gajuwaka constituency Palla Srinivasa Rao went on a week-long indefinite hunger strike. Meanwhile, trade union leaders have been protesting in various forms since the 6th of this month. Similarly, the families who sacrificed their lands to establish the steel plant are continuing their relay hunger strike.

Meanwhile, the ruling party YSRCP also led a pada yatra that stretched up to 25-km from the GVMC Gandhi statue to Kurmannapalem junction.

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