ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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MAHARASHTRA-Disaffection in Congress (I)

cal compactness as well as a uniform feedstock base. In practice, the break-up was arbitrary and totally devoid of any rational criteria. The ironic part of it is that the lack of cohesiveness was used subsequently as an argument for the bureaucracy in the Petroleum and Chemicals Ministry to act the overlord over them all. Two joint secretaries from the ministry were made members of the boards of all the five corporations in order to ensure co-ordination which was considered necessary for efficiency and uniformity. These two joint secretaries became in effect a super management board for the entire public sector fertiliser industry, even as the FCI board ceased to exist. This position was reinforced by a cell created in the ministry under one of the joint secretaries which was empowered to ileal with all personnel matters of the five corporations. If the technical division of the FCI proved to be the most tragic casualty of the break-up scheme, marketing operutions now become extremely chaotic. In the absence of a reliable technical agency to draw upon for troubleshooting, the plant managers found themselves in a tight comer and the operational efficiency of the producing plants suffered a serious setback. The problems of the producing plants have, of course, been further compounded by the general deterioration in the overall industrial infrastructure, in particular power and coal supplies, But there are some additional problems to be reckoned with in the case of fertiliser plants because of their faulty petroleum product feedstock base. The two coal-based fertiliser plants, which were set up in the teeth of the opposi- by the lobby favouring imported petroleum feedstock for fertiliser production, have meanwhile been completed and have run test production successfully. This is a signal achievement of the scientists and technicians of the dissolved P and D division of the onoe- integrated FCI. But these plants are in no position to run for want of coal and power supplies. It may, however, be interesting to mention here that the Ramagundam coal-based' fertiliser plant is facing 100 per cent power shut down while a nearby private sector cement plant is merrily working on power, It would seem that the erratic supply of power to fertiliser plants which is bound to damage the sensitive plant and equipment will in due course become a handy argument once again to run down Indian technical services, and coal-based plants in particular. It is being hopefully asked in. some

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