Staff Correspondent

Bhopal unit of BHEL celebrates Golden Jubilee

BHOPAL: Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is a national treasure and a jewel in the crown of public sector enterprises, Santosh Mohan Dev, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, said here on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here to mark the golden jubilee of the Bhopal unit of BHEL, Mr. Dev saluted the vision of Jawaharlal Nehru, who had dedicated this plant to the nation in 1960. The plant was registered as a private limited company on August 29, 1956, and its foundation was laid by the then Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Mr. Dev said BHEL was a leader in the heavy industry sector and 75 per cent of the power generated in the country was through equipment manufactured by BHEL. It had exported equipment to more than 60 countries, he said, adding that the company had left its footprint in all the continents. In years to come, the company would emerge as India's leading multinational, he asserted.

On the State Government's demand for surrender of surplus land now under the control of the Bhopal unit, Mr. Dev said the Union Cabinet was in the process of discussing this point. The Group of Ministers (GoM) would be meeting to take up this matter. Only after consultations, "we will be able to say how much land can be surrendered,'' he said, adding that some land had been given to set up an All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, but unfortunately it had not been utilised.

The BHEL Chairman, Ashok K. Puri, said the Bhopal plant was poised to touch a turnover of Rs. 2,300 crore.The Union Heavy Industries Secretary, R. C. Panda, said the golden jubilee of the Bhopal plant was a watershed for drawing up a strategic plan for the future.