Express News Service reported that Former Prime Minister Mr HD Deve Gowda has written to Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi requesting him to withdraw the closure order pertaining to Steel Authority of India Limited Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant in Bhadravathi. Mr Gowda wrote “In my tenure as prime minister, I had taken the initiative to merge VISL with SAIL in 1996 after which it became a unit of SAIL. The main intention of the merger with SAIL was to upgrade technology through managerial support for the modernisation of VISL with an investment of INR 650 crore. However, it didn’t materialise,” Gowda rued in the letter. Highlighting the massive capability of VISL to produce more than 700 grades of alloy and special steels catering to the requirements of ordnance factories, nuclear complexes, wheel and axel units, automobiles etc, Mr Gowda wrote “There is a dire need for the revival of the unit by making investments. Further, the extent of 150-acre captive iron ore mines have been allocated to VISL in the Ramanadurga area of the Ballari district and the process to start mining is at an advanced stage. The mine is expected to be operational by 2024 Mr Gowda added “VISL is the only public-sector steel plant in Karnataka. If VISL is closed, it will adversely affect 20,000 families. I sincerely hope that with a few crores of investment, this company can be transformed into a profitable venture and can further contribute to the development of Atma Nirbhar Bharat by catering to defence, nuclear, automobile, railway sectors etc.” VISL was established by the great visionary and engineer-statesman Bharat Rathna M Visvesvaraya 105 years ago. VISL, which was started as Mysore Wood Distillation Plant in 1918 and later on became Mysore Iron and Steel Works, was renamed Mysore Iron and Steel Limited. MISL was a unit of the state government till 1989 after which it became a subsidiary of the Steel Authority of India Ltd. VISL became a complete unit of SAIL in 1998. It operates two blast furnaces and has 216,000 tonne per annum crude steel production capacity Due to certain constraints the factory was facing in 2016, NITI Aayog had referred it for privatisation under the disinvestment policy and invited an Expression of Interest. Due to the lack of interest from private players, the Ministry of Finance’s DIPAM has decided to annul the EOI and terminated the transaction of strategic disinvestment of VISL.