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Wanted: a second airport for Chennai R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Tough task taking states together Solar, solar everywhere … S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist No engine for this car Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Quality silica from Neyveli Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Sweeter prospects for sugar Protest masters... Rahman at CIC Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership TELANGANA at last…BUT Road development slows down Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra IPL - no surprise this scam Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Kulandai was a giant No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu When online building permits work…. Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The Gulf aviation boom Boy, can you beat these? 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The power-full Hindujas Shipping woes of Chennai companies
 
An inexplicable neglect

The Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is among the prestigious steel producers of the country. It was set up with multi country collaboration with the Russians taking care of iron and steel making and the Americans supplying sophisticated rolling mills. Long products, extensively used by the construction industry, have been produced by RINL, which has capacity to produce 13,000 tonnes per day. Operations of this first port-based steel plant have been quite healthy: during 2013-14 with a turnover of Rs 13,527 crore  and a profit of Rs 366 crore.

IE has been reporting on RINL for 43 years – right from the time the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi laid the foundation stone in January 1971. I have, therefore, been deeply disturbed by the extensive damage suffered by the plant through the visitation of the cyclone Hudhud. Chief Minister Naidu told Prime Minister Modi that the damage to the plant was Rs 700 crore.  He also reported that the furnaces, cut off power by grid failures, had the molten liquid iron and steel, solidified. This would require re-building the entire furnaces anew.

I wonder why the essential step of anticipating the risk and shutting down the furnace in a planned manner was not taken. After all the meteorology   department had predicted accurately the landfall point for the cyclone at Visakhapatnam city three days earlier. The country has 107 years of experience in steel making starting with the Tatas. SAIL itself has over five decades of experience. We have thousands of steel technologists serving in India and abroad. Two of the largest global steel producers, Arcelor Mittal and Tata Corus, are owned by Indian  business tycoons.

How can the country afford such a colossal neglect?

 

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