DVC chief promoted friends: staff

Aggrieved employees of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, besides the central vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar, about various wrong doings of the current chairperson of the corporation R N Sen.

The employees have alleged that Sen has appointed 22 advisers, who were his colleagues and acquaintances when he was with the National Thermal Power Corporation. All these advisers sit in the New Delhi office of the DVC, drawing their remuneration from it, but allegedly function as consultants of private parties.

This is going on when, as the employees have written, the corporation was losing money at the rate of Rs 100 crore a month. The plant load factor of the DVC’s power generation unit was about 69 per cent when Sen was inducted in June 2011, but it has now come down to 65 per cent now.

It has also been alleged that a few months ago, the power starved Bihar wanted the DVC to supply 100 megawatts of electricity at the rate of Rs 4.50 per unit. But, Sen refused to act on that commercial offer, even though the DVC was power surplus and had been pushing 500 megawatts of power into the national grid.

In another case of the top management's curious moves, it has decided to shift a research and development centre from Salt Lake in Kolkata to Mejia. This was a joint venture with IIT, Kharagpur, but it was not consulted about the decision to shift the centre. When the instruments at the laboratory were sought to be relocated free of cost by the original equipment manufacturers/original equipment suppliers, the latter refused.

The IIT authorities also stated in a letter, ref. no. IIT/SRIC/DEAN/2011 and dated 20 October 2011, 'Relocation of R&D Centre should not be taken without a discussion in the Steering Committee where both Chairman, DVC & Director, IIT-Kharagpur are the Co-Chairmen. Any major decision of this nature can be taken only after a detailed deliberation of the pros & cons at the Steering Committee level jointly by the stakeholders. This is particularly so because it has been planned that the Centre will be in Kolkata for which DVC was to develop a new building at Rajarhat.'

However, the unilateral decision has resulted in the R&D centre remaining idle with its power connection disconnected.

The DVC Engineer’s Association also wrote a letter – reference number EA/CENT/2011-12/-23, dated 7 March this year – stating the same facts and also expressing dismay as to how a prestigious institution, for which the West Bengal government allotted three acres of land for building a permanent centre, is being arbitrarily shifted at the whim of the DVC management.

Finally, they have concluded, 'The contribution of our R&D Centre through its testing & research activities, towards savings valuable time & money for DVC, is definitely a matter of pride in these times of financial disturbance for all industrial entities.'
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