THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Sivathanu Pillai, who stepped down as the CEO of Indo-Russian JV BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL) on July 31, was given a farewell at BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (BATL) on Saturday.
Along with the then Defence Minister A K Antony, he was one of the key figures in establishing a unit for the missile firm at Chackai here in 2007. Senior officials of BATL were present, but the INTUC-backed BrahMos Staff Association and BrahMos Employees Union (AITUC), which had been at loggerheads with Pillai, boycotted the farewell.While the BrahMos missile has been successfully manufactured at the BAPL’s other units and integrated into the armed forces, the Chackai unit has been plagued by problems.
Although at the time he had announced that the first missile would come out of BATL in three years, that promise has not been fulfilled yet owing largely to labour issues and to the fact that the Chackai unit has been unable to get additional land for expansion.
BATL was formed by taking over KELTEC run by the State Govt for a token Re 1 during the term of the previous LDF Govt.