Singareni Collieries: KTR hauls Centre over hot coals for putting up Singareni coal blocks on auction

The IT & Industries minister called for multiple maha dharnas to teach a fitting lesson to the BJP for reneging on the promises it keeps making.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 06, 2023 | 11:16 PMUpdatedApr 06, 2023 | 11:16 PM

KTR recalled the promise made by Prime Minister Modi that he would not privatise SCCL. (Twitter)

Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday, 6 April, called for maha dharnas on 8 April in Mancherial, Bhupalpally, Kothagudem, and Ramagundam to protest against the Centre preparing to auction the Singareni coal blocks.

In a statement, the minister hauled the Centre over the coals for its decision to auction the coal blocks.

He recalled the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 12 November last year that he would not privatise Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) but now it has been proved that his assurance was hogwash.

He called upon the people to teach a fitting lesson to the BJP for reneging on the promises it keeps making. The Centre should allocate the coal blocks to Singareni without putting them up for auction, he said.

Calling for protests and maha dharnas

The BRS working president said that it was clear that the Centre was trying to wash its hands off by privatising SSCL completely. The latest decision by the Centre to auction the coal blocks was against the interests of the SCCL, he said.

He asked the employees to make the protests a success by taking part in them in large numbers.

He added that it was a paradox that whenever the Centre puts the coal blocks up for auction, companies show no interest. When Telangana asks for their allotment, the Centre shows no interest.

He said that the Centre had issued a notification again for the auction of Sattupalli III, Sravanapally, Pen Gadapa blocks between 29 March and 30 May. KTR said that the BRS demanded that the Centre immediately withdraw its decision in the interest of the company.

Also Read: KTR tells Centre to merge Vizag Steel Plant with SAIL

‘Centre keen to privatise SCCL’

KTR added that the Centre should realise that SCCL is livelihood-security for Telangana and recalled Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao writing to the Centre to desist from its attempts to put the blocks up for auction.

KTR said that the Centre, which is keen on privatising all the PSUs, is preparing the ground for selling SCCL. As part of this, it is trying to push the company into loss by denying the coal blocks. When the company falls into red, the government would get rid of it.

Also Read: PM Modi rules out privatisation of Singareni Collieries

KTR sought to expose Centre’s doublespeak

He said that the Centre was adopting the same strategy in respect of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). It has pushed the VSP into loss by denying iron ore mines. Now, the Centre wants to use the same formula for SSCL privatisation, he said.

The Industries minister also sought to expose the Centre’s doublespeak as it was generous to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation in allotting mines on nomination basis but when it comes to SCCL, it wants to put the coal blocks on auction.

He warned the Centre that if the SSCL shuts shop, there would be a serious crisis in the power supply situation in south India. He said that the Singareni issue is not limited to just six districts, but is one of the entire Telangana.

The BJP wants to take it out on KCR by making Telangana deficit in power supply as he was providing round-the-clock power supply to the farm sector. Another conspiracy behind putting coal blocks on auction was to see to it that there would not be enough power supply to lift irrigation schemes, which have become a lifeline for farmers in Telangana, he said.

Also Read: Behind KTR’s fresh crusade against Vizag steel plant privatisation