Monday, February 28, 2011

Post PG test - So called malfunctioning of CO2 fire fighting in Salem 2 Hi mill

Few years after performance guarantee test SAIL HQ realized the importance of fire fighting system, which was never commissioned to the satisfaction of Salem Steel. Almost Rs 2 Crore was pending from SAIL to MECON and there was pressure on Lube and Hyd department of MECON who had supplied the CO2 fire fighting system as turnkey system and our Electrical department was not involved. However when the problem of pending money came up- we were again summoned to recommission the system supplied by Vijay Fire. Sri KN Jana who was that time in Electro Technical Laboratory was asked to investigate and do the needful. After brief study he found that the power supply to main board was not stable. He assembled a power stabiliser using 2N3055 transistors and we started our journey to Salem. That time we found that we could afford to stay in Welcome Group Chola Shereton a 5 star Deluxe Hotel in Chennai as per our DA entitlement if we shared room.

We did stay in that hotel sharing a room. We found the fridge in the room stiffed with cold drinks, chocolates and other stuff. We ate and drank all that was in the fridge thinking it was complementary. Jana even drank the soda water also. It was shocking later to pay Rs 70 for each bottle of cold drink consumed which were worth Rs 4 or so that time.. we learned a lesson that day about such hotels..

In Salem we had to discuss the test with Mr Sugathan - a ex MECONIAN in charge of design in Salem and one Mr Jayraman Mr Jayraman was in charge electrical and was ex colleague of my then boss Mr K Ramadurai. It was tough discussions and we knew the going is going to be tough.

During the test all technical people along with fire fighting personnel were present. We were confident having tested the panel several times. But when the test was done, Only fire alarm got activated and no punching of CO2 cylinder took place. We were disappointed. We tested the panel and it functioned well. As expected our requests for retest were not accepted. It was time to check again and again why it malfunctioned. Again it was myself only to notice that a glass cover on the panel installed by Salem Steel for protection / mal operation was pressing a selector switch and thus only manual mode was getting active - this was preventing automatic operation of CO2 cylinders as required for successful test. We again approached Salem Steel for retest. With lot of arguing with Mr Jayraman and with some support from Mr Sugathan a retest was organized next day with panel glass cover kept open. Fire fighting worked and a minutes was signed accordingly.

We returned to Ranchi and reported the matter with a sense of pride to Mr BP Sarkar - then GM (C). He was very happy, patted by back. However the pleasure was short lived. A telex message from Salem Steel arrived in second half rejecting the fire fighting system on the plea that such an important system worked only in second try. Our sincere efforts to make the system drew a flak. MECON then went for a commercial settlement and got all the dews except for Rs 5 lakhs deducted for this system - stll a good bargain for MECON, though Mr Sarkar wont agree...

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