After completion of my diploma in mining & mine surveying in the year 1975, I had joined CIL in March 1977 at Hasdeo Area of SECL. From the humble beginning as Overman, I reached pinnacle of my career as CGM in CIL in 2007 and even selected for the post of Director Technical SECL Bilaspur. En-route this journey, I upgraded myself by acquiring A.M.I.E. in the year 1992 and M.B.A. (Operation Management) in the year 2012.
I got the opportunity to work in highly mechanized UG mines like long wall mining at Rajendra UG and Continuous Miner at Kurja UG mine. Similarly, I also worked in OC projects like Dhanpuri OCM having two drag lines and Gevra OCP which is the largest mine in Asia. During my career formidable challenges like restructuring of Dhanpuri OC mine by opening a new patch. Also, acquisition of land for Gevra OCP was successfully overcome.
During my tenure I worked as SAM Ambara Sub-Area of WCL. Producing 5.0 lakh tonnes per year and incurring loss of 15-20 crores. Within a year production came up to 10.12 lakh tonnes and Ambara Sub-Area has registered first ever profit of Rs. 5.31 crores during the financial year 2003-04. These milestones were achieved by opening of new OC patches and converting haulage mining to belt mining at Maori UG mine.
I got the opportunity to work as SAM Dhanpuri OCM of SECL Sohagpur Area in the year 2005 after transfer from WCL. The mine was in moribund condition and the production was at the nadir. Mine could barely produce 6.85 lakh tonnes of coal in the year 2004-05. The draglines i.e. 10/70 and 20/90 were underutilized. A scheme was prepared for Sector ‘D’ patch and approval was obtained. Tenancy land was involved in this patch and villagers were reluctant to give their land. However, through several meetings with villagers and State Government officials, cordial relations were developed. I was able to build trust amongst them.
Further, I got the opportunity to work as CGM of Sohagpur Area SECL and took over prime task to work the Sector ‘D’ patch. Both departmental and contractual working in the same patch was started separately. The mine produced 10 lakh tonnes of coal and reached up to 24 lakh tonnes per year. Opening of Khairha UG mine was done in my tenure and incline drivage was started. Abandoned Baiga OCP resumed production after vacating 16 unauthorized private houses lying within the mine area and mine started producing 3 lakh tonnes per year. Due to the above activities, Sohagpur Area flourished and reached its zenith by recording highest ever coal production in its history.
Recognising my performance at Sohagpur Area, the then CMD posted me as CGM Gevra Area in the month of July’ 2009 and I worked their till May’ 2013. Gevra OCP is the biggest coal producing mine in Asia and contributed significantly in the basket of CIL’s coal production. It was facing several challenges which had led to stagnancy in production and productivity. Land was critical issue and mine could not sustain its production. At the time of my joining the sanctioned capacity was 25 MTY and proposal for enhancement from 25 to 35 MTY was under active consideration. For this about 1200 Ha of land covering 7 villages were to be acquired otherwise the mine was on the brink of closure. The task was very difficult as there was no clear cut guidelines regarding land acquisition and villagers split-up their land into piece meal manner. I adjusted all anti-SECL forces in one pro-SECL platform to exploit the provision of R&R Policy of Chhattisgarh State, which authorizes Jilla Punarvas Samiti to formulate modalities for rehabilitation and managed a meeting of the samiti in the office of District Collector, Korba under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister, Govt. of C.G. /In-charge of the district which was attended by sitting MLA, Collector, Suptd. of Police, social activist, representatives of public on 12.12.2010. I had a very hard time in explaining the ground conditions and ultimately, it was agreed upon that employment shall be given as per CIL Policy and compensation as per CG R&R Policy.
As per Minutes of meetings of Jilla Punarvas Samiti a proposal was submitted to SECL, HQ and persuaded to pass through. I presented the modalities in the SECL Board held at Raipur to pursue them for agreement. I further attended the meeting in MOC, New Delhi and presented the proposal where our modalities were concurred. Ultimately, the villagers have shown their willingness to take employment, compensation and other benefits within the approved norms of SECL. We have taken physical possession of 100 acres land, which facilitated us in achieving target for 2012-13. Above achievements got wide publicity in national newspapers and our efforts further reflected in the form of revised CIL R&R Policy of 2012. Commissioning and operation of world class HEMM like 42 cum shovel, 240 tonne dumper, 850 Hp dozer and 381 mm drill in scheduled time. Gevra earned profit to the tune of 1400-1500 crores each year during my tenure.
Hasdeo Area is one of the most prestigious Areas of SECL. Hasdeo Area has set up a lot of benchmark in the field of production, productivity, offtake and profit during previous years. UG mines have been our backbone during all those years. Production from UG mines is among the highest in entire CIL. Exhaustion of coal reserve, geological disturbances and vast expanse of ageing mines are some of the factors which lead to downward trend in production and productivity. In this situation, I joined the Area as CGM in May 2013. As I started my career from Hasdeo Area; it helped me in having better understanding of the challenges and possible remedies for overcoming stagnation in production and productivity. Several fresh initiatives were taken up during last one and a half year to bring the Area out of slumber like restructuring of existing mines by boundary adjustment, proposed pair of inclines, fresh RPR for Raj OCP, conceptualizing three new OC projects, adoption of Mass production Technology i.e., continuous miner in some of the UG mines, proposed conversion of sidings into the wharf wall siding, renovation of coal transportation roads etc. Area is hopeful to reap a rich harvest of all these effort. We are committed to check downward trend in coal production, languishing at mere 5.0 MTY so as to reach a new summit of 8.0 MTY by the year 2018-19.
It is an uphill task to extract minerals lying inside the Earth’s surface as one has to challenge the nature. Coal mining is also one such task. Only way to succeed is sheer hard work, self-esteem, and continuous perseverance.
I convey my thanks to my institute and regards to my teachers for providing a solid foundation to build myself. They always remain a guiding force due to which I could achieve all this success in my career. I also thank to my batch mates for encouraging me time to time.
The above article is not for self-glorification but it is aimed to inspire juniors and instil self-confidence among them.
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