Management issues hold up DVC growth

The central power utility Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has entered into a difficult phase, in which its projects are getting delayed and many leadership issues have cropped up. Its employees are up in arms against the present chairperson R N Sen for failing to manage affairs in the company properly.

According to the officers' association of the DVC, the company has a mandate to produce additional 5,000 mega-watts of power but has failed to meet the target. Officers claim that the DVC has managed to synchronise so far only one unit and the land and other issues have prevented another unit from starting production. The company has an accumulated loan of Rs 20,000 crore. Because of the production delays in the second unit, the company is on the verge of facing a financial disaster.

The central government and the power ministry are concerned about the way the current management is functioning. They have decided to restructure the management, for which an amendment to the DVC Act of 1948 will be needed. The government is planning to bring a bill in Parliament to this effect in the next session of Parliament.

After the DVC remained headless for a few years, Sen took charge on 10 June.

Following the decision to broad-base the DVC, the union cabinet decided that the post of financial adviser and secretary will be abolished. This post had been lying vacant for some time. This move is in line with the recommendation made by the Administrative Staff College of India, which was mandated to examine the corporation's restructuring. Now, there will be four full-time members to take care of technical and financial sides, apart from the chairperson and a member secretary. There will also be six part-time members, including the four experts.

The corporation has thermal and hydel power plants in West Bengal and Jharkhand and plays a major role in flood control in its command area.
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