KTR calls for protest against auctioning of SCCL coal mines

SCCL, BRS working president KTR on Thursday called for ‘Maha Dharna’ against the Centre’s decision to auction SCCL’s coal mines


HYDERABAD: Once again vehemently opposing the Union Government’s veiled attempts to privatize Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s (BRS) working president and Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Thursday called for ‘Maha Dharna’ against the Centre’s decision to auction SCCL’s coal mines. Stating that the centre has issued a notification to auction the mines in Sattupalli Block 3, Shravan Palli, Penagadapa, KTR demanded the auctioning process, which was scheduled to be conducted from March 29 to May 30, be rolled back. Further, he demanded that SCCL should allocate the mines without auctioning. "BRS leaders and activists along with Singareni employees will protest against the centre, in Mancherial, Kothagudem, Ramagundam on April 8," KTR said. He asked if anyone from the Centre would dare to explain the need for privatizing SCCL when it was setting records in terms of production, profits and plant load factor (PLF).

In a statement issued on Thursday, KTR spoke about the economic significance of SCCL, the Centre’s conspiracy to impede Telangana’s growth by privatizing the SCCL, disastrous impact of its privatization on various sections of the State and other crucial aspects.

He said that the Centre was conspiring to push Singareni, which was currently reaping profits, into losses by not allocating the coal mines. Stating that the Centre sold many public sector units which made profits, he said that Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) was pushed into losses by not allocating mines to it.

KTR stated that Telangana would strongly oppose the Center’s conspiracy. He said that Chief Minister and BRS President K. Chandrashekar Rao already wrote to the center stating that the coal mines needed for the SCCL be allocated to it. He said that Singareni employees too had made the same demand. He said that there was no response from private companies to earlier attempts to auction the mines. “Though the Telangana government urged the Union Government from the past several years to allocate the mines to Singareni, the Centre turned a deaf ear to it,” said KTR.

He recalled that a large number of lignite mines were allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) following the nomination method. However, KTR said that the same request to allocate mines to the SCCL was not considered by the Centre. The Minister said that the Prime Minister, who was generous towards Gujarat, discriminated against the progressive Telangana. KTR said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Ramagundam on November 11, 2022, assured that Sinagreni would not be privatized. But the PM did not stand by his promise, said the Minister.

He questioned how Modi would respond to it during his next visit to the State.

KTR said that the attempts to privatize the SCCL was to mar KCR’s determination to provide 24 hours free electricity to farmers and to force the farmers to again rely on borewells for farming. Stating that Singareni played a crucial role in thermal power generation in the State and that it provided high quality power to agricultural needs, industries, and domestic requirements, he said that the Centre was creating obstacles. KTR said that the Centre was not able to digest the appreciation Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project had been receiving. He added that the Centre was plotting to deprive the lift irrigation projects of power supply.

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