JK Cements Samba project production 5% of installed capacity

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Jan 2: The production of Samba Unit of Jammu and Kashmir Cements Limited that was commissioned two years ago has fallen to 5 percent and the Performance Guarantee test which was to be conducted in six months of commissioning was conducted recently.
The 300 tons per day (TDP) capacity Cement Grinding cum Packing Unit at Samba was commissioned in September 2015 when it was supposed to complete by January 2013. Sources said that the project constructed by M/S Ashoka Gears was delayed by more than two years despite conducive environment and availability of funds leading to loss of around Rs 160 crore to the Corporation.
After the commissioning, the plant is almost defunct as it has run only on 14 percent of rated capacity in 2015-16, 19 percent (19000 MTS)  in 2016-2017 and 5 percent (3000 MTS)till November this year  leading revenue loss of Rs 150 crores so far these years.
As per the terms of the contract the plant was to be handed over to the JKCL after 6 months of successful commissioning and running of the unit at the rated capacity and Performance Guarantee test (PG test) was to be conducted within six months of the commissioning.
Sources said that after over 2 years, the management of the JK Cements has now conducted the PG test to benefit the contractor against the provisions of the contract as his payment of around Rs 2 crore was kept with held for lack of the PG test.
Despite clear terms and conditions of the contract and agreement with M/S Ashoka Gears, the turn key project contractors of the Unit, there is unnecessary dispute of Rs  6 crores created by the management in favour of the contractor for extra works as claimed by him.
Sources said that in this regard, Administrative Department framed a committee headed by Special Secretary Industries, Director Finance I&C along with officers of JKCL to see the ground reality and appraise the Administrative Department regarding the progress of the work required to be taken at the site.
The report submitted by the Committee was not conclusive hence the Administrative Department visited the Samba site and took the series of meetings also at Secretariat level with the representative of M/S Ashoka Gears and officers of JKCL.
Finally, Administrative Department framed another committee (vide Govt. order No. 147-IND of dated 26-10-2015) for verification of extra works executed either as traditional items or extension of the items of the originally approved project.   The Committee did not find the claim of the Contractor due as the works executed was the part of the contract. Now, this year the JK Cement’s management has formed its own committee with an aim to benefit the Contractor.
Despite failure of Ashoka Gears in running the plant as per the terms of the contract, another firm M/S Balaji, as per sources, sister concern of the contractor was engaged at Rs 4 lakh per month for the operations of Samba plant in violation of standard procedure, codal formalities and norms, without any authority and by sidelining the top technical management. The firm continued to draw the money from JKCL for 5 months last year and was disengaged due to the strong protests by the employees and officers.