Terming the Centre’s decision to auction four coal mines of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) as a conspiracy against Telangana which was flourishing economically, the TRS has threatened to launch an agitation against the move.
Industry Minister KT Rama Rao, who is the TRS working president, has given a call to all Members of Parliament of the state to cut across the party lines and raise this critical issue in Parliament.
KT Rama Rao expressed his ire at the Centre’s move to auction the coal mines of SCCL, pointing out that a large number of lignite mines were allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) following the nomination method.
He wondered why the coal mines similarly were not allotted to SCCL and accused the Centre of discriminating against Telangana.
A statement released by the state Industry Minister’s office also pointed out that in his recent visit to Ramagundem in Telangana the Prime Minister had ruled privatizing Singareni and had pointed out that the majority stake belonged to the state government.
However, in the Lok Sabha the Centre has announced that four coal mines of SCCL will be auctioned.
Pointing out the significance of SCCL in Telangana’s economy, Rao said that its privatization will adversely affect the state. The actions of the Central government were vengeful and a conspiracy to bring down the state that was flourishing.
He further said that Centre was conspiring to push Singareni into a loss. SCCL is at the top among the southern states in generation of thermal power and has the best plant load factor (PLF) in the country.
Congress MP from Nalgonda N Uttam Kumar Reddy has already raised the issue of auctioning of coal blocks which were adjacent to SCCL in the Parliament yesterday.
Terming the Centre’s decision as irrational and bizarre, Reddy demanded that the auction should be cancelled and all four coal blocks should be allotted to SCCL.
In a written reply, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi stated that the Telangana government was the majority stakeholder with 51 per cent and hence it was not possible for the Centre to privatize SCCL.
However, the TRS today threatened to launch an agitation if the Centre moves ahead with its plans to auction the four coal blocks.
It may be pointed out that during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Telangana in the first week of November, the employees and mine workers had observed protests against the Centre’s efforts to privatize SCCL.