In Visakhapatnam, a hunger strike against the potential privatization of the RINL-Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) has been ongoing for 1,000 days. A group of former vice-chancellors called the Vice-Chancellors’ Forum, has written a letter to the Prime Minister, urging the government to consider alternatives to privatization and keep the VSP in the public sector.
The Forum, which includes prominent academic figures, emphasized the importance of maintaining public ownership of the VSP. They pointed out that the VSP is facing challenges like a shortage of coking coal, which can be addressed by providing it with its own coal mines. They also suggested that the government could allocate special funding to the VSP, similar to what has been done for other steel factories under the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
Additionally, they proposed that the government should retain a significant stake in the VSP while potentially selling some shares to private parties to raise the necessary funds. The Forum stressed that the VSP holds great sentimental value for the local community and requested that the Government of India continue to operate the VSP within the public sector.