Preparation of feasibility report for establishing an integrated steel plant in Kadapa District in the State of Andhra Pradesh has been engaging the attention of the Government of India at the highest level. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) have prepared the feasibility report as per the commitment under Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 and based on various inputs including those provided by the State Government, the project was found not feasible.
In spite of the lack of feasibility, Steel Ministry wanted to do further due diligence keeping the best interest of the newly formed State of Andhra Pradesh in mind. It appointed a high level Task Force consisting of representatives from the State Government and other technical persons engaged in the steel industry. This Task Force has been holding meetings periodically and the last meeting took place on 17th December, 2018. Further, the Steel Minister, Chaudhary Birender Singh has been continuously holding meetings on the subject with all stakeholders including public representatives from the State of Andhra Pradesh in order to expeditiously explore all possibilities for finalization of due diligence and feasibility Report.
The State Government has not yet given required information on availability of the mines and iron ore for the proposed steel plant. The State Government itself has engaged Geological Survey of India (GSI) for doing the exploration work of Obulapuram Mines (G2 Survey: for ascertaining iron ore resource availability) which is a pre-requisite for finalization of the feasibility report. However, in spite of several reminders and reviews of the Task Force, this information has not been given by the State Government so far. State Government has not shared information whether any survey is at all taking place and whether the State Government has given the necessary forest clearance for conducting such survey.
MECON, a premier steel consulting company, has been engaged by the Task Force to prepare the draft feasibility report and it has been struggling to get this information in order to finalize the draft report which is almost final except for the information on mines and the iron ore availability. In spite of the seven meetings of the Task Force, this information, which is essential is not forthcoming from the State Government. State Government is not divulging the exact situation on ground with regard to the type of mine, quantity and quality of iron ore reserves.
It is once again reiterated that once the State Government furnishes this information, the feasibility report will be prepared by MECON within the shortest possible time and thereafter the modalities of investment will be finalized keeping best interest of people of the State in mind.