Save Salem Steel Plant, Karunanidhi tells Modi

Save Salem Steel Plant, Karunanidhi tells Modi

DMK president and former TN chief minister M Karunanidhi today requested prime minister Narendra Modi to stop privatising Salem Steel Plant.

In a letter, he said, “Vanakkam.  I wish to recall  that soon after Arignar Anna took over as the Chief Minister,  “Awakening Day” was observed throughout  the State of Tamil Nadu  on 23-7-1967 to draw the attention  of the Government of India  for the implementation  of the Salem  Steel Project and Sethu Canal Project.

The Day had  a massive response,  as these two projects   were the dream – projects of the people of Tamil Nadu  for a very long time.   During my initial tenure as the Chief Minister  on 21-3-1970, while participating  in the National Development Council Meeting presided over  by Late Thirumathi Indira Gandhi, as  the Prime Minister  of India, I asserted that Tamil Nadu would not endorse the Draft Five Year   Plan unless the implementation of the Salem Steel Project was approved and announced.

As a consequence of this, Thirumathi  Indira Gandhi  announced on 17-4-1970 on the floor of the  Parliament  accepting the demand of Tamil Nadu that the Salem Steel Plant  would be included for implementation  in the Fourth Five Year Plan and in a grand function at Salem on 16-9-1970 presided over by me, she laid the foundation-stone for the Project.   Though initially the project started as  a steel-rolling Mill,  gradually  it started developing many-fold  and became a popular Steel Project.

The Project  has employed  more than 2,500 employees  directly and more than 5000 persons have got indirect employment.

When the Salem Steel Plant has been at the zenith of its growth  and production, the  people of Tamil Nadu are startled to know that the BJP  Government  at the Centre has initiated  steps to  privatise the plant.   Right from the start, the Plant has been running  on Profit.

While the profit has reached the  Rs. 100 crore mark,  information is reaching us that the Government of India is taking efforts  for its privatisation under the pretext  that the Plant has been incurring loss.

Instead of giving the Plant to private entrepreneurs,  the Government  should think  positively to sustain and strengthen the Plant by posting administrative experts, putting up a power-generating  plant and by starting a Rail-Coach Factory at Salem.

The People of Tamil Nadu are emotionally attached to the Salem Steel Plant  and any move to privatise  it will lead to great disappointment  and mass-dissent.  Therefore I kindly request your  intervention  to save the Salem Steel Plant, which is a hard-won  Public Sector Undertaking  in the State.   Your timely intervention  will protect the livelihood of thousands of employees and retain a glorious Land-Mark of Tamil Nadu.”

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