Hyderabad: Overcoming its decades of downward spiral, long years of unrest, frequent flash strikes and unprecedented production losses, state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has scripted a remarkable turnaround story. Ever since Telangana attained statehood, SCCL continued to enjoy special attention of the government. It is today one of the prized possessions of Telangana.
The company has witnessed 314 per cent growth in profits in the last five years (2014-2019), which is no mean achievement. This is not all. Its dispatches grew 122%, overburden removal was up 247% and sales increased 132% during this period.
With this, the miner occupies the top slot in terms of growth among government organisations after the formation of Telangana State. The SCCL success story is considered to be the befitting answer to all those who questioned statehood.
The growth rate achieved during the past five years speaks volumes about the splendid performance of the company in its 129-year history. In terms of both growth and profits, SCCL is way ahead of not only State government organisations but also central public sector undertakings.
The company is on the top in coal production, coal dispatches and overburden removal. The profits posted by it during the past five years (2014-2019) are many times higher when compared with the 5-year period before the formation of Telangana (2009-14).
Ahead of Coal India
Coal India, which has 8 subsidiaries, could not match the 122 per cent growth in coal transportation of SSCL in the last five years. During the five-year period before the formation of Telangana, the growth in coal transport was 90 lakh tonnes. After the formation of Telangana (2014-19), the growth was 200 lakh tonnes — a growth rate 122%. It removed overburden of 250 million cubic metre from 2014 to 2019 as against 70 million cubic metres from 2009 to 2014.
Sale of coal also took a quantum leap after the formation of Telangana. The company clocked sales worth Rs 13,000 crore during 2014-19 as against Rs 5,600 crore during the previous five-year period (2009-14).
Similarly, SCCL witnessed a phenomenal rise in profits. After the State came into being, PAT grew 314 per cent at Rs 1,200 crore for the period 2014- 2019. This was Rs 290 crore in the five- year period before the formation of Telangana
Such an amazing turnaround was credited largely to the support extended by the State government. As soon as the Telangana government was formed, senior IAS officer N Sridhar was appointed as its chairman and managing director. As desired by Chief Minister K Chandrshekhar Rao, he played a decisive role in addressing the weak points and realising the full potential of the company.
The Chief Minister who toured in the coal belt of SCCL had several rounds of meeting with the employees and the representatives of its management. He focused his attention on the welfare of the employees. Jobs to the kin of medically unfit workers, upgradation of canteens, modernisation of hospitals, interest payment on loan availed by workers up to Rs 10 lakh, 10-fold increase in matching grant, air-conditioners for workers quarters, fee payment for the children of workers for higher studies, Rs 5 lakh worth corporate medical treatment to retired workers and their spouses and 27% bonus were some of the promises which were fulfilled enhancing the happiness quotient of the employees.
Singareni stood as an example to all the government organisations in the country by registering a 15% growth rate in 2015-16. New machinery worth Rs 350 crore was purchased replacing old ones. Besides, multi-department team meetings were arranged in every mine for optimum utilisation of machinery. The SCCL Chairman and Managing Director organised monthly meetings of all area general managers. Earlier, this was a half-yearly affair.
Sale of coal also increased considerably. Along with Telangana State power companies, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana State power companies too purchase coal from Singareni. Even organisations, which used to procure coal from Coal India, are looking to Singareni due to the standard production and the calorific value ensured by the company.
The company took up seven blocks in other States along with the 48 mines in Telangana keeping in mind the growing power demands of the State and also the demand from other States. The company has already taken up the Naini Block in Odisha that has a capacity of 500 million tonnes of coal. It is also in the process of taking up a new bock — New Patrapura block – in Odisha. Apart from this, it is gearing up to take six more new blocks in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Chandrashekhar Rao, who has shown special interest in the diversification of Singareni activity, has personally submitted a letter in this regard to the Prime Minister. Once these new blocks are taken up, Singareni would reach a total production of 100 million tonnes in a short span of time.
SCCL thermal power plant is ranked fourth nationally by producing 19,036 million units through its 1,200 Mw Singareni power plant. Another 800 Mw critical thermal power plant is also going to be launched soon. Besides, the company has taken up another 300 Mw solar power plants in 12 areas. These will be completed by 2018-19 with an initial capacity of 130 Mw.