Rourkela: The Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), which has been sustaining loss to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees annually, is embroiled in a scam of more than Rs 100 crore in the last two years for selling blast furnace (BF) granulated slag directly at lower price by circumventing the official procedure of e-auction.
The matter came to light when Union Tribal Affairs Minister and Sundargarh MP Jual Oram in a letter to Union Steel and Mines Minister Choudhury Birendra Singh on March 24 cited irregularities in BF granulated slag sale and other issues.
Following Oram’s letter, the RSP on April 29 finalized sale of BF granulated slag weighing about 3.24 lakh tonne at a total value of above Rs 38 crore through e-auction. Going by the old rate, it would have fetched only Rs 8.5 crore.
This corroborates the claims of corruption in direct sale to favour OCL (India) Ltd and a few other cement plants which were procuring granulated slag at three times less price of now quoted Rs 1,105 in e-auction.
The sources further claimed that Additional Chief Vigilance Officer of Rourkela Steel Plant, BL Agarwal had been insisting on e-auction of BF slag for around 18 months. Instead of considering the vigilance officer’s suggestion, he was handed out premature transfer order on May 5 raising suspicion on the intent of the steel plant’s management.