30 July :Progress of work at the 2X250 Mw Chandrapura project site in Jharkhand of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was reviewed in detail yesterday by Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce and Power. He was accompanied by the Chairman of DVC, the CMD of NBCC the main civil works contractor and senior official of BHEL.
The project is delayed by over 15 months and the revised dates for commercial operation for the first unit are now mid-February, 2009 and for the second unit end-April, 2009. Labour problems at the site have been one important factor contributing to the delay (in the month of June, for instance, just 12 days of uninterrupted work was possible) and Shri Jairam Ramesh met with trade union leaders and labour representatives. He announced that a committee under the chairmanship of Shri P. K. Toppo, DM of Bokaro will examine all demands and grievances of labour and his recommendations would be accepted by DVC, BHEL and NBCC, the three main agencies involved in the project. Trade union leaders belonging to different political parties appreciated the time taken by Shri Jairam Ramesh to understand local-level concerns and pledged their cooperation to expedite work at the project site.
Shri Jairam Ramesh also laid the foundation stone for a ITI at the Chandrapura power station complex that will provide training to local youth in different trades like welding, fitting, electrical work and computer operators. He announced that DVC will also set up a similar ITI at its 2×500 Mw Koderma project site also in Jharkhand. IN addition, it will upgrade two existing state government-run ITIs at Hazaribagh and Bokharo. Over the next four years DVC is going to be commissioning a number of projects in Jharkhand—the 2×250 Mw units in Chandrapura, the 2X 525 Mw units at Maithon (as a joint venture with Tata Power), the 2×500 Mw units at Koderma, 2×500 Mw units at Bokharo and 2×250 Mw units at the Bokharo steel plant complex. In order the manage these projects more effectively, Shri Jairam Ramesh also said that DVC will soon be opening a new office in Ranchi and also appoint a very senior Director (Projects) to run its operations in Jharkhand. Shri Jairam Ramesh reiterated the commitment of the DVC to work for developing the human resources of Jharkhand and said that his vision was that companies like DVC and BHEL should not see Jharkhand just as a source of supply of unskilled labour but invest in building modern, technical skills amongst local youth.
Shri Jairam Ramesh also directed BHEL to immediately carry out technical studies to restart the 3X120 Mw units supplied by it at Chandrapura in the late-1970s but that have never worked properly and that have been shut down since 2002. He said it is odd that 3X130 Mw units supplied by GE in the late-1960s are still working very well at Chandrapura but not the BHEL units. This is a colossal waste of national resources, he added.