HSL should not allot orders to private entity, says CITU

Published - May 16, 2024 07:23 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Alleging that the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) management is planning to partly offload its orders to a private company, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded the HSL management to withdraw its plan of handing over some of the orders to private companies.

The Central government has given orders for the manufacture of five fleet support vessels, required by the Navy, at an estimated cost of ₹20,000 crore. The HSL management, acting under political pressure, handed over two of the orders to a private company (reportedly L&T), CITU State general secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao claimed at a media conference on Wednesday.

He said it was unfortunate that though the work orders could help revive the fortunes of Hindustan Shipyard Limited, the management had planned to hand over part of the work to a private entity.

HSL is unique in the country as it has a natural yard and a dry dock. In the past, there were 7,500 workers on the rolls of HSL. The first shipyard in the country to have completed 82 years of service, HSL had constructed over 200 ships of various types, Mr. Narasinga Rao recalled.

The CITU leader alleged that the decisions being taken by the HSL Chairman and Managing Director were coming in the way of the progress of the shipyard. He said that during the visit of Defence Secretary Giridhar Armane to HSL last week, the workers had said that they were prepared to execute the orders for construction of the five vessels, and appealed to him to direct the HSL CMD not to offload some of the orders to the private company.

Mr. Narasinga Rao said that ignoring the plea of the workers, the HSL management and the government were going ahead with their plan to hand over two orders to the private company. He said that HSL management had taken bank loans, amounting to ₹5 crore two years ago, to provide amenities in the ‘slip way’. Though no such work was taken up in the shipyard, so far, the shipyard has been paying monthly interest on the loan.

He sought to know as to why the CMD had failed to provide basic amenities in the yard during the last two years. He also sought appointment of workers, officials, technical and non-technical staff for execution of the project. Referring to the observations made by CAG in the past, he sought that recruitments should be made in a fair and transparent manner. He said that the wrong decision of the CMD could harm the interests of HSL.

He reiterated the demanded that all the five support vessels should be constructed in HSL, Vizag.

CITU district general secretary R.K.S.V. Kumar and district vice-president K.M. Kumara Managalam were present.

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