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Engineers From Ranchi-Based HEC, Who Built Chandrayaan-3 Launch Pad, Not Paid Salaries For Over A Year: Reports

According to a media report, engineers, senior officials and workers of HEC in Jharkhand’s Ranchi have not been paid for the past 17 months. Despite this, the firm delivered the mobile launching pad for Chandrayaan-3, along with other crucial and complex equipment, in December last year ahead of schedule.

ISROs Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Mission
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Days after the historic launch of Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar mission, it has come to light that the engineers who built the launch pad for the spacecraft have allegedly not been paid their salaries for more than a year. The engineers were working at Ranchi-based Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), which was given the contract for a few projects  ISRO’s mission.

According to a report by news agency IANS, engineers, senior officials and workers of HEC in Jharkhand’s Ranchi have not been paid for the past 17 months. Despite the issue, the firm delivered the mobile launching pad, along with other crucial and complex equipment, in December 2022 ahead of schedule.

The HEC is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Heavy Industries. Located in Ranchi’s Dhurwa area, it is one of India’s oldest public sector units which supplies equipment to major steel plants across the country.

Among the engineers who cheered when Chandrayaan-3 wa successfully launched was Subhash Chandra. He told IANS, “The HEC personnel held their heads once again with pride. We are happy that we are partners in such an important project of the country.”

According to the IANS report, the HEC has requested the Ministry of Heavy Industries several times to provide working capital of Rs 1,000 crore.

According to a report by The Telegraph, Bandhu Tirkey, Jharkhand Congress executive president and member of the Jharkhand state coordination committee, has asked the Centre to make efforts in revival of the ailing Ranchi-based PSU. He demanded that the Prime Minister and the government should pay more attention to the company’s revival.

“Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants India (MECON) Limited had designed the launching pad of Chandrayaan-3, while HEC constructed the launching pad. Unfortunately, not much attention is paid by the Union government to either of the two PSUs. I have come to know that even Mecon Limited, though posted profit last year, is not doing well,” Tirkey alleged, as reported by The Telegraph.

For the last two and a half years, the HEC has also not made any permanent appointment for the position of chief managing director.

Meanwhile, the Chandrayaan-3 was built with a budget of around Rs 600 crore. The spacecraft successfully embarked on its 15-day-long mission to the Moon on July 14.

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