Vanakkam & Namaskar
My dear elders, my respect to you. My dear colleagues, friends from unions, associations and federations, friends from press and media, my better half and better halves of our Directors present here and specifically my colleagues joining me from our various offices in Delhi, Chennai,Tuticorin, Barsingsar and Ghatampur, my greetings to all of you.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is an occasion when last year we were here to celebrate 60th year of Raising Day of our great Company. That time I thought if Raising Day is something we celebrate, the contribution of people those who worked for the company and on whose shoulders the company grew, they are to be acknowledged first. When we celebrate our birthday, the first gratitude goes to our parents those who gave birth to us and brought us up. We should respect them and in the same spirit I thought this Raising Day should be the occasion when we have to pay respect to all those who took this company to different levels of heights over the years and also to people those who contributed to the success of the Company, may not be the employees directly, but also the villagers and great personalities like Jambulinga Mudaliar who gave his land first to establish this Company. Perhaps without them this company would not have been here and over the years what we did through generations and generations, to sustain this company over past 60 years, which is a quite long period during which, in our Indian history alone, we have seen many companies coming, growing and also withering during this period. As I always tell to recall the cases of companies like HMT, the proud watch maker of India, HEC, the Heavy Engineering Corporation that was considered to be perhaps one of the engineering giants in India, ITI, the great landline telephone maker, now you don't find them making telephones, the scooter company I think Scooters with Vijay brand in Andhra Pradesh and like that there were many companies which came, prospered during the same period, but eventually could not live long and went out of the market.
There was a difficult time for our company when our former CMD Mr.Yegneswaran had asked all the employees to rise to the occasion and pledge their support to put the company back on the right track. Our people responded to his call and were able to prove our endurance and sustained our existence. We have been steady so far. But, now we are in a phase where we have to move from existence to excellence. In this world where things are changing, changing very frequently, changing very rapidly, our existence is not enough. To exist, we will have to perform, outperform our competitors. So this journey from existence to excellence should be our mantra now, because we have existed well but I always tell let people know us for our excellence, not only for our existence. We being in a PSU hold the public money in trust, we create wealth. We create wealth for the society. Our last tag line was 'Harnessing Energy, Spreading Smiles' and now let us adopt a new principle, a new tag line 'Creating wealth for well being', well being of the society. And what we have been doing now like augmenting water resources, water which is so valuable to the society. For the people around, specifically in this part of the country, Cuddalore, Chennai and the bordering areas where there is shortage of water, we thought it appropriate to harness the water resources through de-silting and deepening the ponds, lakes, and water reservoirs. We got drowned two years back because of incessant rain and heavy floods. We saw the villages here in surrounding areas got marooned and we found that the water ways were blocked. I thought that time that the water bodies in surrounding areas needed to be deepened to improve water storage capacity and there had to be a way which could channelize the water, when it came in plenty, to the sea and that is what we are doing, not only we are augmenting water resources but also we are clearing waterways to take away flood water to sea. We developed the Walajah Lake and now the Paravanar Lake and Chengal Odai Lake deepening we have taken up. We will be doing many more in the surrounding areas. We are going to de-silt and deepen the Panchayat Ponds in the surrounding areas. We are going to put bore wells there so that permanent ground water source is made available to those ponds and people don't suffer from the shortage of water. It is not only for the people, but also for the cattle, the livestock. It is our responsibility to do the clean and green mining, clean and green power generation and in that front also we have been very alive and in fact, everybody who comes and visits here and sees the way we have reclaimed our land after mining and the same way our Hon’ble Minister felt proud when he visited here and exclaimed that perhaps people think that mining is a bad thing, but here, after visiting Neyveli, I feel people should tell that take my land, do the mining and after that reclaim and re-energise, fertilise the top soil and then grow the paddy, the grapes and the mangoes that you have been doing. Mining is not a bad thing as long as we recreate and restore nature.
We felt secured that we are in energy sector, we are a good company, a strong company, on one hand is my mining strength, on the other hand is my strength in power generation. Whatever power I generate, there is adequate demand for that and that is what we felt. But it is not so now. In last three years, we have seen rapid changes in energy sector. Government is taking a great lead for making electricity available at an affordable price to people not only in the cities but also in nook and corners of the country in villages. The fossil fuel based generation is not compatible with the go green environment and gradually we will have to bring it down and we have to ramp up our generation capacity in other renewable resources, renewable areas like tidal wave, wind, solar and also the nuclear that is coming in a big way. So, we will take all the things and then the dependence on fossil fuel, dependence on mining and the power generation by using coal, sub optimal coal that is lignite, all these things are under a great threat. Unless we keep our power tariff somewhere around Rs.3.00 to 3.50 paise per unit, the growth plan that have been envisaging, may undergo drastic revision. We have to move quickly. We may have to ramp up our solar capacity where we have planned to have a capacity of around 4000 Mega Watt. We will be achieving that and we have plans to buy out a couple of stressed power assets. Things are moving well, but at the same time, some hurdles are there which we will have to look into. Any new addition in thermal power generation now will have to be through supercritical technology. In lignite, first we brought in CFBC Boiler, now we are going to bring in the supercritical technology by adding four 660 MW Units at Neyveli. But again, everything will depend on how cost effective we are. Are we in a position to sell power, not only today, but for coming 25 years, somewhere around Rs.3.00 per unit? If we are, then perhaps we will go ahead with the plan that we have or else will have to see alternative avenues, may be the balance will go in favour of more solar, go in favour of wind energy and then the progress on thermal side may have to be, I will not say halted, but (the growth) will depend on the trend how the world is moving on fossil fuel front. Like in Germany, of course they have reached a stage where the thermal power requirement is there only for the base power and supplemental power demanding frequent ramp up and ramp downs.
And friends, these are the things we will be doing on the business front. At the same time, on family front, looking after the society, taking care of the society and doing good for the people, that's basically in our blood and we will continue doing that. Everyday becomes history, the 60th year of NLC has gone into history and we have entered 61st year. The past becomes history but not every past gets recorded in the history book. So are we doing something for which we will find place not only in the chronological time frame of being in the past, but also find place in the records of history? The history of NLC should be such that the turnaround what we did should be written in golden letters in the history. People should say, here is a company which did great things and we should go down into the annals of history that yes, we created new things, we did new things and we are known for, again I will repeat, for our excellence, our existence is a matter of routine, so we have to go beyond that routine and that is what I look forward in all of you and you have been proving to be on track for that.
All our unions, associations have come forward to provide a good living to the retirees in the Retirees' Old Age Home that we have proposed to set up and in fact I got this impulse (to set up the Retirees’ Home) from one of the gentlemen in the last AGM who mentioned about the plight of many NLC retirees who didn't get their pension and are living very difficult lives with their children not being capable to look after them. To help them, our unions and associations have come forward assuring their participation. Once infrastructure is made available, which we will be doing may be in a month or so, we will be starting the Retirees’ Old Age Home over here for the benefit of the people.
Our work for ensuring 'wealth to well being' continues. This year, we dedicated a couple of RO based drinking water plants and that in fact we are not doing only here, such drinking water plants and battery operated vehicles for old and otherwise abled people to go to the sites of heritage and pilgrimage, we are providing all these facilities in Tirupathi, Velankanni, Chidambaram, Vriddachalam, Madurai and Puri to name a few.
NLC should be known through its good work which will be going beyond the Mines, beyond the Power Stations, touching the lives of millions of people. Those great people who worked here and whom we honoured over here are our great ambassadors and with their blessing and with your dedicated team work, my dear friends, this company will continue to grow.
The success story has to continue, the success saga has to be repeated and we all have to be together to celebrate it and to tell the society again that here is a good company which is doing good things for building the society and building of the great nation that India is.
Jai Hind. Nandri, Vanakkam.
20th May 2017
Lignite Hall Auditorium, Neyveli.