Saturday, April 23, 2011

From Bokaro Steel to MECON - the change which changed the life


Were there no Emergency in India my life would not have been so exciting !

How ? Let us roll back a little to 1977 ..

Janata Party - a conglomeration of anti Congress and anti Emergency political parties  overthrows Indira Gandhi Govt by thumping Majority after dark days of Emergency.

Late Mr Biju Patnaik,  Steel Minister in new dispensation goes ahead to set aside earlier decision to have Russian Mills and gives the order for new CRM-II complex to MECON with Wean United Inc of USA.  

Thus MECON - a leading Steel Consultancy Company - got the order for CRM-II in 1977 and  MECON had to play dual role as consultant as well as supplier of equipment for SAIL- Bokao Steel. In view of this new job some 17 electrical engineers were selected from Bokaro Steel Ltd for parallel transfer to MECON - both companies were subsidiary to SAIL at that time.

I along with many of my friends Mr SB Mukherjee, Mr PC Sadhu,  Mr Prakash Chatterjee, Mr Udai Singh, Mr Prabhakar, Mr NK Tamrakar, Mr KN Jana, Mr KK Mukherjee, Mr Awdhesh Ojha. Mr Tiwary. Late Mr DK Roy, Mr CD Pandey, Mr Manoranjan Dandpat and others joined MECON. It was a curious change for us. We were perfect commissioning engineers with lot of and  variety of hands on commissioning experience and we had to prove our selves in design and engineering organization. We thought the new job easy earlier learning later that it was anyway not so very difficult.

That time electrical department in MECON was in 3 parts Electrical-1 headed by Mr Mathai C.E, which did Electrical Power and Distribution, Electrical-2 headed by Mr BP Sarkar, CDE which did Rolling Mills and Processing Lines (Both Supply jobs and Consultancy) and Electrical-3 - headed by Mr PS Sharma, E.M which did all remaining things for Steel and Iron Making. Myself was picked by Mr BP Sarkar for posting in Electrical-2 (RM&AED) under Mr K Ramadurai- who over turned earlier decision to post me in Electrical-1.
I alomngwith my friend Mr SB Mukherjee and others joined Rolling Mill - supply part of Electrical-2 lovingly called United Wing due to MECON's collaboration with Wean United Inc. We were put under Mr BP Goyal - a tough task master. He later resigned from MECON to work with Road Master Cycles at Rishikeh and later in Jindal Stainless Ltd. I rejoined under him as VP-Projects in JSL during my short stint in 2006-2007.

We used to work in what was called "Apna Bazar Building" in main road of Ranchi - then in Bihar State. Driving a scooter in Ranchi road without road devider and lot of Rikshaws was a nightmare for most of us who had seen wide roads in Bokaro. However I was comfortable driving here and 2 of my friends needed me to drive them to Firaya Lal chowk when required.

One interesting thing which happened during our initial days in MECON was that - me and SB Mukherjee will criticize Mr BP Goyal (I have lot of respect for him now) in Bengali thinking he won't understand us. Later we got a shock when we heard him talking fluent Bengali - due to his earlier posting in Durgapur. My journey with MECON had begun..