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Appeal to CM for Sindri plant survival

Dhanbad, May 31: A last-ditch appeal has been made to the chief minister to bail out the ailing Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL) to prevent the name of Sindri from being altogether wiped out from the industrial map of the state.

Last week, Binod Kumar Jha, general manager of PDIL Sindri, in a letter to chief minister Arjun Munda requested to deliver a bailout package to the company.

In 2002, Sindri witnessed the closure one of the largest public sector units, the Fertiliser Corporation of India, which had been running up huge losses.

PDIL Sindri, house to the only catalyst manufacturing plant in the world operating in the government sector, faces closure after the company sanctioned voluntary retirement scheme for 37 of its 51 employees this month.

In the letter, Jha claimed a one-time grant of Rs 5 crore to rejuvenate the research and development laboratory of the organisation. The company has also demanded that the state government should honour consultancy projects worth Rs 50 lakh per annum to PDIL, in the development projects being undertaken by the government so that working stock could be kept intact to plan resurgence of the company.

Moreover, PDIL Sindri is already acting as consultant for state government in the Rs 109-crore Maithan water supply project for the coalfields undertaken by the chief minister. It is also a consultant for certain projects of potable water supply of Mineral Area Development Authority.

'The company is competent to execute material handling, pollution abatement programmes and infrastructure development works and if PDIL Sindri is appointed as one of the consultants to boards and corporations of the state government then its revival will become possible,' claimed Jha while talking to The Telegraph.

Catalyst plant requires rigorous research and development as catalysts have to be evolved continuously and a catalyst once supplied to any industry is to be monitored for next five years by the manufacturing plant only, Jha informed.

Earlier, Sindri MLA Raj Kishore Mahto had asked PDIL management at Sindri to submit a proposal to the state government of the estimated money required to revive the plant.

Jha said if research and development wing of the plant is revived then catalyst plant could be saved from closure. Moreover, the fertiliser plants of the country, where the current urea production stands at 2.2 million tonnes, are using the catalyst produced from PDIL Sindri plant.

He added that while the price of catalysts manufactured by PDIL Sindri witnessed a two to five times rise over the decade those produced by the private foreign companies went up by 20 times.

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