The Centre has called Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s bluff on the Kadapa Steel plant. While the AP chief minister laid the foundation stone for the Kadapa Steel plant on Thursday, the Central government stated clearly that the Andhra Pradesh state government had not provided the required information.
The Union government has clarified that the Andhra Pradesh government has not yet given the requisite information on mines and iron ore for the proposed steel plant. A press note issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) stated that the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) had prepared the feasibility report as per the Union government’s commitment under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014. In fact, based on various inputs including those provided by the State government the project was not considered feasible it says.
In spite of the lack of feasibility the Steel ministry of the Centre sought to undertake further diligence, it added, in the interests of the new state. The Centre also appointed a high level Task Force comprising representatives from the state government and other technical experts from the steel industry. The Task Force has been holding meetings with various stakeholders including public representatives from the state, it stated. It further clarified that the that the last such meeting took place on 17th December 2018 only ten days ago.
The Centre also pointed out that the Steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh had been holding meetings constantly with all stakeholders as well, to finalise the feasibility report.
The Centre blamed the AP government squarely for not submitting the required information on the availability of mines and iron ore for the proposed steel plant. It said that the state government itself had engaged the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for doing the exploration of Obulapuram mines and studying iron resource availability.
Nailing Chandrababu Naidu’s claims the Union government clarified that in spite of several reminders and reviews of the Task Force, the state government has not furnished the required information.
The press release added that MECON, a top notch consulting firm has been hired by the Task Force to prepare the draft report. The Centre clearly reiterated that it was up to the Chandrababu Naidu government to furnish the required information.
Interestingly enough, Chandrababu laid the foundation stone for the Kadapa steel plant project in Kambaladinne this morning. The project, estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crores was to be constructed on 3000 acres.
The TDP supremo had proudly declared thereafter that this marked a day of Telugu pride. However, with this recent development, Chandrababu's attempts to earn some brownie points by harping on the much neglected steel plant months before elections has met with an anti-climax.
Earlier in the day, former Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao slammed the AP chief minister, questioning the need to rush things. He posted a tweet on his timeline, have a look...