fifty years ago April 2, 1970 Archives

Unnecessary visit by foreign expert

A U.S. engineer, Mr. J.D. Edmonds of Western Knapp Engineering Company, the U.S. consultants of the Rs. 90-crore public sector project, Hindustan Copper in Khetri, Rajasthan, was summoned by the project authorities to carry out an emergency job recently. But when he arrived in India, he discovered that his visit was unnecessary since the job had been accomplished already by Indian engineers. The project authorities, it is learnt, had failed to inform him that he need not come even after the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals, Mines and Metals had disapproved of their decision to summon the U.S. engineer, and assigned the job to Indians. The result was that Mr. Edmonds found there was nothing for him to do, but to return to the United States. What is even more surprising is that the other consultants of Hindustan Copper, Vendt Plc of France, who were also asked to depute their experts, had a better understanding of the nature of the emergency job than the project authorities. This has caused considerable embarrassment to the Department of Mines and Minerals. This is cited as one of the many instances of public sector undertakings to summon foreign experts without taking the trouble to find out whether it is necessary.

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