ROURKELA: With the Central Government showing interest to sort out issues plaguing Bisra Stone Lime Company Ltd (BSLC) at Birmtirapur in Sundargarh district, the hope of revival of the loss-making PSU has been rekindled.
The Union Minister of State for Steel, Mines, Labour and Employment Vishnu Deo Sai is scheduled to visit BSLC on Friday. His visit assumes significance as direct intervention of these Ministries are required to bail out the mining company from trouble. The company has been closed since August 13 on technical grounds.
Birmitrapur MLA and Birmitrapur Mazdoor Manch (BMM) president George Tirkey attributed BSLC’s misfortune to continuing mismanagement by its authorities and the PSU holding company Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL). Tirkey said he would impress upon the Minister about the urgent need to transfer management power of BSLC to Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). The plants of SAIL including Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) are the chief buyers from BSLC. He said 104-year-old BSLC with enviable deposits of dolomite and limestone would bounce back in no time with effective and sincere management.
Tirkey said the situation has further worsened as Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has attached BSLC’s bank account to recover provident fund dues of 11 months. He claimed that VRS applications of above 150 employees are at various stages of finalisation and 800 workers have not been given salaries and other benefits for above five months.
General secretary of BSLC’s recognised union Gangpur Labour Union (GLU), affiliated to INTUC, Sandeep Mishra said they are hoping a positive outcome from the Minister’s visit. A group of workers said the development of Birmitrapur town depends on BSLC and appealed for its revival.
Significantly, BSLC’s liability has mounted to over `50 crore amid frequent closures and continuing losses. It had to face closure for 110 days for lack of environment clearance between November 2011 and February 2012.
It was closed again for 50 days in early 2014 for excess mining of minerals.