Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to reconsider the decision to privatize the Nagarnar Steel Plant in Bastar.
In his letter, the Chief Minister said that NMDC’s under-construction Nagarnar Steel Plant is likely to be commissioned in near future at a cost of more than about 20 thousand crores.
He wrote that the state was very enthusiastic that commencement ofNagarnar Steel Plant at Bastar will not only ensure utilization of minerals in Bastar but also provide the state with an opportunity to contribute in nation building. The state was also hopeful that the industrial unit will also providethousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities in the area, he said.
Reacting on the reports in media that the Central Government is preparing to sell the Nagarnar Steel Plant in Bastarin private hands, the chief minister said that it would be very unfortunate for Chhattisgarh that the proposed public sector steel plant in the tribal area of the statewould be privatized.MrBaghel said that the decision will deeply hurt the expectations of lakhs of tribals.
He further maintained that the news of privatization of the Nagarnar Steel Plant has agitated the tribal community and there is a feeling of dissatisfaction against the governance and administration among them.
The chief minister wrote that the state government has been successful in curbing Naxal activities with considerable efforts. But, under these circumstances, the possibility of Naxalites taking undue advantage of tribal discontent due to privatization of Nagarnar Steel Plant cannot be ruled out.
He informed that about 610 hectares of private land has been acquired for the Nagarnar Steel Plant, which has been taken up for ‘public purpose’.
With this, about 211 hectares of government land in the Nagarnar Steel Plant still belongs to the Government of Chhattisgarh. Of this, only 27 hectares of land has been given conditionally to NMDC for 30 years, the rest of the government land is owned by the Chhattisgarh government and the first condition of the land that the state government has transferred to the Industries Department is that the land by the Industries Department Will be used only for the purpose of setting up a steel plant by NMDC.
He said that PESA Act, 1996 is in force to protect the interests of tribals and their natural rights in Chhattisgarh. The state government is always committed to protect the interests of the tribals of Chhattisgarh. The Public Sector Undertakings were taken forward by our guide, former Prime Minister of India, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, and seeing their importance, the Government of Chhattisgarh will always support them in their progress.
He also informed that NMDC’s 04 iron ore mines at Bailadila have been extended for the next 20 years by the state government, so that new employment opportunities will be created in Bastar region. All-round development of the region should be encouraged and the people of this region can connect with the mainstream of development.
The Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister that the Central Government should reconsider the decision to privatize the Nagarnar Steel Plant and let it continue as a public sector enterprise and continue to work, so that it helps in improving the standard of living of the tribals of Bastar region.