Devegowda against closure of VISL, writes to Modi

Bengaluru: Taking exception to the closure of only one public sector steel plant of Karnataka, Janata Dal Secular (JDS) national president and former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda made an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the process of closure of a century-old Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL), a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) located in Bhadravathi taluk of Shivamogga district in Karnataka.

Instead of initiating steps for the closure of VISL, in a two-pages letter to Modi, a couple of days back, Devegowda told the Prime Minister that “with a few crores of investment, this company can be transformed as a profitable venture and can further contribute for the development of varied departments such as defence, nuclear, auto mobile, railways among others.”

Wanting steps to revive the plant, Devegowda said VISL plant has massive capability to produce more than 700 grades of Alloy and Special Steel catering to the requirements of Ordnance Factories, nuclear complexes, Wheel and Axle units, automobile sectors and others.

Stating about the plight of VISL, in his letter, Gowda stated that from 2000 onwards, VISL has been facing many challenges such as disinvestment, privatization, joint venture and others but nothing substantial happened.

Over the efforts made to revive the VISL, he reminded Modi that when he was the Prime Minister in 1996 an action was taken to merge VISL with SAIL and the main intention of the merger was to upgrade technology through an investment of Rs 650 crore. But, the modernization did not happen.

The former Prime Minister brought to the notice of Narendra Modi that VISL closure would adversely affect about 20,000 families'.

To Modi, Gowda highlighted the historical background of VISL that its establishment was under engineer statesman Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya which became functional in 1918 under the rule of erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore and termed VISL as “Pride of Karnataka.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story