Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: The employees of the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) have appealed to Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu to extend the term of Rear Admiral Ajit Tewari as their Chairman and Managing Director for at least two years.

“In recognition of his contribution for turning around HSL during past four and half years, he should be considered for extension of term,” Hindustan Shipyard Staff and Workers’ Union general secretary Gadasala Appa Rao said in a representation to Mr. Baalu. The CMD is due for retirement shortly.

When he took over, HSL was in crisis with an empty order book and delayed salary and other disbursement. He could pep up the spirit of the workforce, speak to various companies and States, Union Territories for getting orders to construct bulk carriers and passenger vessels, Mr. Appa Rao said.

The order book had gone from a meagre 1.87 (equivalent pioneer) ships in January 2004 to 16.57 ships in January 2005 and the value of the order book had gone up from Rs.200 crores in 2003-04 to about Rs.2,050 crores in 2004-05.

The cash flow was made comfortable by speedy execution of backlog orders and fresh orders firmed up from clients.

Rear Admiral Tewari was not only responsible for launching of first biggest bulk carrier from the slipways, delivery of INS Vagli, repair of six oil rigs and firming up of first biggest oil rig Sagar Ratna repair order from ONGC worth Rs.400 crores, but also instrumental in the consideration of taking over of HSL by Ministry of Defence, the union leader said.