Categorical Information Service
KASARAGOD: Almost three months after chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated KEL-Electrical Machines Restricted (KEL-EML) after taking it over from the Union authorities, the machines of the unit in Kasaragod are nonetheless silent.
The unit received orders value Rs 74 lakh to make 5 160 kV alternators — turbines that convert mechanical power to electrical power — diesel turbines and spares. “However neither do we’ve sufficient uncooked materials nor working machines to fabricate them,” mentioned Ragesh Kumar, an worker and chief of INTUC, the Congress-affiliated commerce union.
In a assessment assembly chaired by minister for industries P Rajeev on June 2, principal secretary P M Mohammed Hanish mentioned 40% of the overall 120 workers haven’t any job within the unit. Right now, the corporate has solely 99 workers. “And nearly all of them are sitting idle. We come within the morning and go away within the night. If that is how they’re planning to run the unit, it’ll shut store quickly,” mentioned Kumar.
In November, the unit gave its pc numerical management (CNC), which controls complicated machines similar to lathes, and vertical turning machines for upkeep. “Eight months on, the necessary machines are nonetheless below restore,” mentioned V Pavitharan, one other worker and vice-president of INTUC within the unit.
To begin with, the federal government ought to have centered on appointing an in a position managing director, who would steer the manufacturing facility out of the difficulty, and second, present working capital to the unit.
Within the assembly held in Thiruvananthapuram, the managing director of Kerala Electrical & Allied Engineering Co. Ltd (KEL) Col (retired) Shaji Varghese mentioned a full-time director or a managing director must be appointed at its subsidiary KEL-EML. The stakeholders agreed to nominate a senior worker of KEL because the unit head in Kasaragod.
Nobody ought to sit idle: Minister
Responding to industries division principal secretary Hanish, minister Rajeeve mentioned no worker must be allowed to sit down idle.
In line with the minutes of the assembly, the minister known as for rationalising the workers primarily based on manufacturing. “Workers’ salaries ought to come from the manufacturing facility’s revenue,” he mentioned and instructed his officers that the unit must be “working in full capability by July-August”.
When contacted, Varghese mentioned a brand new unit would take time to run at full capability and mentioned it was anticipating new orders from the Railways. The stakeholders additionally agreed to nominate an MBA graduate with experience in advertising to seek out new shoppers and marketplace for KEL-EML’s merchandise.
In his report introduced on the assembly, KEL MD Varghese mentioned KEL-EML was more likely to finish FY2022 with a turnaround of Rs 12.32 crore. Public Sector Restructuring and Inside Audit Board (RIAB) chairman Ashok R requested KEL-EML to furnish particulars of orders the unit was anticipated to win.
As beneficial by RIAB, the chief minister introduced a Rs 77-crore revival bundle for KEL-EML after its takeover, and sanctioned Rs 20 crore on April 1, when he inaugurated the unit.
Varghese mentioned many of the Rs 20 crore was spent on clearing the liabilities of the workers.
Workers of the federal government cleared the wage dues until March 2020. From March 2020 to April 2022, when the unit remained shut first due to covid lockdown after which for lack of working capital or work order, the federal government agreed to pay 35% of the wage. “The choice to pay solely 35% of the salaries was pressured on workers and but the administration has not launched the quantity,” mentioned Ragesh Kumar. The administration has additionally withheld 10% of gratuity and wage dues of retired workers, he mentioned.
Of the Rs 20 crore, round Rs 6.5 crore was spent on clearing dues of the workers, Rs 2.5 crore was spent on bettering the infrastructure and round 3.25 crore was spent on clearing dues of the shoppers, mentioned an official. “Round 8 crore has not been spent but,” he mentioned.
When contacted, Varghese didn’t share the small print of the fund utilization however mentioned: “To the very best of my information (there’s) no unspent quantity”.
Workers mentioned the federal government hard-bargained with shoppers and repaid solely a portion of what was owed to them as a one-time settlement. “However we’ve to rely upon the identical shoppers. Now they’re demanding money upfront earlier than delivering uncooked materials,” mentioned one other worker.