Save Vizag -Steel PlantCentral Government seems to have unleashed a new mantra on the Workers Unions and political parties who have been agitating against the privatization of the Vishaka Steel Plant. “Running the Steel Plant is no longer tenable. We are committed to disinvest 100% shares. If we do not find a prospective buyer, we will shut down the plant,” Minister of State, Finance, Anurag Thakur said.

This seems to be a threat to the agitating workers. “If some private player comes in, at least some of your jobs will alive. If not, everyone will sink if we shut down the plant is the message the minister has sent,” political analysts say. The central government has willfully thrown the plant into losses with neglect over the years.

There is no way a private player will invest in it. But then, the Steel Plant has around 7,000 acres of vacant lands. There are instances of private players taking over such plants for paltry amounts using their connections in the Government and later shutdown them and make money by selling lands.

In either way, thousands of workers and their families will be on the roads. Those who have given lands for the plant find themselves in a fix now. Their loans were grabbed by the Governments for paltry amounts. They were given R-Cards which promises employment for the affected families in lieu of the lands they parted. For years together, they were fighting for their rights with those R-Cards.

And now, the Center says there are no stakeholders other than themselves in the plant while trying to make quick bucks from the very lands. “Center could easily save the plant by allotting captive mines and by refinancing the existing debts for lower interests. But then, it has no intention of doing that. In the name of government has no business of doing business, they are after every PSU to make monies for their cronies,” the workers’ Unions allege.