Telangana polls: Coal workers await infrastructure in Ramagundam

The candidates are promising everything under the sun to the voters — from smart city to social welfare to constructing a wall on the Godavari river. 
Singareni Collieries coal workers at one of the underground  coal mines in Godavarikhani. (Photo | EPS)
Singareni Collieries coal workers at one of the underground coal mines in Godavarikhani. (Photo | EPS)

PEDDAPALLI:  The fate of candidates in the fray for the Ramagundam Assembly seat depends on who the nearly 25,000 Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) workers would vote for. The sitting MLA Korukanti Chander won on the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) ticket in 2018 and later joined the BRS. He has now been retained as party nominee in the election.

Somarapu Satyanarayana, who contested on a BRS ticket in 2018, lost to Korukanti Chander. Satyanarayana had contested the 2014 election on a BRS ticket and won. After 2018, he shifted to the BJP. However, Satyanarayana quit the saffron party in September stating that his defeat appeared to be a certainty if he contested on a BJP ticket.

“There is no chance of my victory if I contest on a BJP ticket. With a heavy heart, I have decided to leave the party and I am tendering my resignation,” Satyanarayana had said announcing his intention to contest as an independent candidate.  He cited reports of a tacit understanding between the BJP and the BRS as the reason for quitting the saffron party.

The BJP is fielding Kandula Sandhya Rani, who quit the BRS and joined the saffron party. She levelled corruption allegations against the MLA and quit the party. In the constituency, there are too many issues that await resolutions. The proposal for setting up an airport at Basanth Nagar has not yet taken off.  
“There is a need for cooperation between the Centre and the state for developing at least an airstrip,” said Madan Mohan, a local.

For Godavarikhani ESI hospital, the Union government has sanctioned about `100 crore but the state government has not yet allotted land. Once the hospital is in place it will benefit coal workers. 
“As there is no good hospital, coal workers are rushing to Hyderabad for treatment for any major ailment,” said Mallikarjun, a coal worker, pointing out that the super speciality hospital proposal is also on the state government’s table for clearance.

The candidates are promising everything under the sun to the voters. BRS candidate and incumbent MLA, Korukanti Chander, said that after winning the elections he would take steps for the construction of a retaining wall at the Godavari river to help avoid submergence of the outskirts. A sewage treatment plant would be constructed to protect the Godavari River from pollution. He said he had brought the IT park and the Industrial park to the constituency.

Congress nominee Makkan Singh Raj Thakur said he would ensure the welfare of the coal workers. He said the Congress’ six guarantees would help almost all sections of people. “I would take steps to prevent Open Cast Mining and propose underground mining to prevent pollution”, said Raj Thakur.
BJP candidate Kandula Sandhya Rani said that she would ensure that Ramagundam gets the Smart City project within six months of winning. She said she was promoting the BJP manifesto Sakala Janula Soubaghya Telangana and explaining to voters how it will benefit everyone.

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