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, Baghel said that National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC)’s under-construction Nagarnar Steel Plant is likely to be commissioned in the near future at a cost of more than about Rs 20,000.
He wrote that the state was very enthusiastic that the commencement of Nagarnar Steel Plant at Bastar will not only ensure utilization of minerals in Bastar but also provide the state with an opportunity to contribute to nation-building.
“The state was also hopeful that the industrial unit will also provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities in the area. It would be very unfortunate for Chhattisgarh that the proposed public sector steel plant in the tribal area of the state would be privatized. The decision will deeply hurt the expectations of lakhs of tribals,” Baghel said.
He further said 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.
Baghel said 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 said.
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’.
Baghel 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”.