BHUBANESWAR: With no sign in sight of a resolution to the ongoing unrest at Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Ltd (IMFA) plant at Therubali in Rayagada district, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday sought the intervention of Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata to resolve the crisis.
“I take this opportunity to request Tata to impress upon Chief Minister Naveen Patniak and the State Government to end the two-week long impasse at the IMFA plant at Therubali, Rayagada,” Pradhan said.
Tata was in Odisha to attend the MoU signing with State Government for the cancer hospital on Sunday. On Monday, he was with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Ganjam where he handed over land right certificates to slum-dwellers.Drawing a parallel with Singur in West Bengal where Tata Motors faced similar situation, Pradhan in a series of tweets said the stand-off at Therubali will send negative signals to industrialisation process in the State.
“You would appreciate the situation having experienced a similar one when Tata Motors was forced to quit Singur in 2008 while trying to acquire land for the flagship Nano manufacturing plant,” Pradhan said.
The stand-off at Therubali has resulted in a lock-out in plant and has arisen out of State vendetta and misperceived short term gains, Pradhan said and expressed apprehensions that it might send negative signals to industrialisation process and investor climate in the State apart from fomenting Left Wing Extremism in Rayagada.
Congratulating Tata for partnering with the State Government to set-up a state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research hospital in Bhubaneswar and also envisioning a model where district-level hospitals shall be equipped to provide better cancer care, Pradhan said, “Your presence in the State shall boost the morale of the industrialists and entrepreneurs when Odisha is looking forward to massive investments in future.”
The Union Minister said more than 1500 locals are directly dependent for their livelihood on IMFA plant which was established by the visionary Odia industrialist Banshidhar Panda in 1961. In his appeal to Tata, Pradhan said, “Your considered advise to the State Government to resolve the issues within the confines of law will definitely carry a lot of weight and meaning.”