The recent visit of Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel has pepped up the morale of employees in BHEL Tiruchi unit that accounts for 30 per cent of the company’s turnover.

During his visit earlier this month, the Minister reinforced his faith in the capability of the committed workforce of BHEL to overcome challenges and fulfil the country’s objective for achieving self-sustenance in power towards the path of prosperity.

Though the road ahead was turbulent, the BHEL, with its 49,000 technically-educated and committed workforce across the country will be in a position to overcome problems facing power industry. Even as the company began expanding capacities and modernising its facilities over the last few years to reach the annual capacity of 20,000 MW, the intended target in the 12{+t}{+h}plan period cannot be achieved due to inadequate coal availability, environmental clearances of new power plants, and global slowdown.

These were serious challenges, and the company cannot afford to be complacent about its capabilities; it has to be futuristic, looking at the way ahead and new avenues for growth. Scope for business in defence sector, other engineering sector, and oil and natural gas sector must be explored. Solar power was a big avenue for the future. “Look at producing solar panel in large numbers right from silicon to photo-voltaic panels, and carry out innovations aggressively,” Mr.Praful patel told a huge gathering of employees.

Accompanied by the BHEL Chairman and Managing Director B.Prasada Rao, Director Bhutani, Executive Director of BHEL Tiruchi A.V.Krishnan, and other senior officials, the Minister said that all opportunities – small or big – must be tapped to steer clear of turbulence.

Terming BHEL as a temple of modern India, he said real complex engineering solutions alone will spur the country’s growth.