Right at the start of this article, I would like to make it crystal clear that it is not exactly a career, but the purpose of this write up is as same as how the Government headquarters usually work: the answers to questions of ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ when it comes to any power generation company will be given as well as the misconception of how the Government departments doesn’t work at all. The working of any Government offices is as same as any private institutions; there is no shortage of work. We have one quote – or saying – well-known among us; we completed ‘Dyodhi’ work when we were supposed to do ‘Ek’. The timing of reaching office was always the same, but the time to return to home fluctuated a lot. There was also a time when we had to work without interruption for thirty-six hours. The power generation company, made as a part of the State Electricity Division, which looks into water and thermal power generation. We can say that the electrification system is the reason behind the work culture followed now.
Scope–Power generation, whether it is of water, coal or even nuclear, is actually a complete technology in itself called power plant engineering. There are around five thousand people in our state who are engaged in its maintenance, so that the power supply to the common people would be continuous. We all know how power can never be stored. Production usually takes place in instant transmission and then the distribution takes place.
I have done my graduation from Mechanical Engineering. After selection in the Electricity Board and also after one-year training in thermal power stations as well as administrative, accounting training and so on, I was finally posted as an Assistant Engineer. After working for a thermal power station for almost two stations, I was then transferred to one of the headquarter’s office, which exists as a link between various fields along with the governing board and the government. I had to perform some below mentioned works – had to, because the head always decides what one will be doing. In reality –
- To collect data related to power generation such as power generation, oil/coal consumption and auxiliary consumption etc. and forward the same to the governing board, various agencies of State / Central Government in the format.
- Determine the production targets and programs of power generating units in such a way that sustainable supply is maintained and their monitoring as well.
- Answeringquestions raised in the Legislative Assembly, Lok / Rajya Sabha within the time limit.
- Around 50-52 officers and employees workin this office. The head of the office is an officer of the level of executive director.It is necessary, however, to inform you that efficient work along with discipline and honesty is prized here; it is not as if the departments run on flattering, the work should speak volumes. Therefore, it is necessary to enjoy the work given and that too, with fun. I can safely say that I got a benefit in the workplace, because of my work and the officers around me to even the Board of Directors (BOD) as well as the Chairman and the Managing Director knew my name and hence, trusted me with the work and responsibilities. I consider this an achievement of my job. I am proud of spending my thirty lively, working years to one office, whichis a record. Along with this, I got three promotions, while the days in Departments usually goes in transfers.
Career Opportunities– The work I did can’t be called as a career, however my work can also not be underestimated, even with the presence of five thousand officers/employees.The office where I was posted was the link to power generation centers for various higher levels. We all know the fact that power generation is a teamwork. It is difficult to be responsible for the success or even the mistake for failures. Therefore, we can say that this office has been a cushion for all the shockers. However, I can, with guarantee, say that if you do your work efficiently and on time, you will then not face any need of spreading your hands to the people. Your work will define and identify you.
1) To collect data of electricity generation, oil/coal consumption of various thermal and hydel power plants in the state daily/month wise/quarterly/yearly/in all formats. Before technology era, it used to take a long time, but now, computer has made it very accessible. I had seen both the times/eras, and have made myself computer-literate in time.
2) Based on the performance of the past years, setting the targets for the coming years, determining the annual and major maintenance schedules of the power generating units, their continuous monitoring etc. tasks which will be executed in the headquarters itself.
3) Being an undertaking of the State Government, it is an obligation to answer the questions raised by the Honorable Members in the Legislative Assembly, Lok/Rajya Sabha immediately or within the stipulated time frame. If these questions are selected to be answered in the House, then it is also part of our work to provide all the information related to the Departmental Secretary, Honorable Minister. For this, personal presence in the capital is mandatory for several days, until the question is answered in the House.I had the distinction of being the nodal officer of my company and also of the production department before this.
4)Audit: It is mandatory in any government institution, carried out through the team selected by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Financial auditing in a power generation company is fine, but its performance is also audited. Regular audit is done from the smallest audit officer of the Accountant General to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.If you gave the exact answers and explanations at the first position (half margin) in such a way that the scope of further questions is over, then you have achieved success otherwise it will be recorded in the CAG’s report for that year.As long as you have forgotten it, then you can be asked for clarification. Normally no explanation is valid at that level and you are asked to fix accountability. The final level is the oral evidence of the departmental secretary / chairman in front of the Committee on Government Undertakings of the Legislative Assembly or Public Accounts Committee of the Lok Sabha. Then you are expected to fix accountability and punish according to the rules.Not only act, but also keep the committee informed about the action taken. After that, the committee gives recommendations, which the government has to make aware of the action taken. However, my experience says that from the audit of the small audit officer, till the evidence before the committee, so much water has flowed, all these are left as mere paperwork. I am concerned that there was no heat on anyone during my stay.
Once, the coal power of the 200 MW unit of the thermal power plant was destroyed. A coal bunker is the place where raw coal is transported through the belt. The coal passing through this is sent to the coal mill for grinding at a predetermined speed. The rehabilitation work of this unit was relied on my system of work, which was almost as much work as setting up a power project (taking on a very large team). At this time, the electrical board existed and only on the basis of approval or consent, the member of production, of finance as well as the chairman proceeded with the big work. I find it essential to mention that only after the power house officials giving the thumbs up would the responsibility of the work be given over to the headquarters. In this scene, me and my colleague, along with the team of my executive director, took the responsibility of the work. Civil, mechanical and electrical were, therefore, also involved in this work.Therefore, various committees were formed for the scope of work, tender, tender evaluation, negotiation of tender rates and finally disseminating orders, and then we used to co-ordinate these committees; the executive director was the convener, and we two assisted him.In the end, Indian Government undertaking completed this work solely on the basis of our letter of intent. Although, during its implementation, the Chairman of the Electricity Board and our Executive Directorwere changed, but the trust in all of us remained intact. We did this renovation in a period of about 37 months through the undertaking at a cost of about INR 22 crores.
As an undertaking of the Government of India was handling the editing of the work, and hence, the possibility of any type of attack on anyone was minimal. During this renovation, the review of the supply of the products as well as the work done and to be reviewed, went in hand with the partial payment that was supposed to be done in increments, the total being in crores.
After the completion of the work, cleaning up after the project is also a task. The biggest thing here is the partial payments to be adjusted and made at the various levels, and then making the final payment to the undertaking of the Indian Government, because there is, as always, pressure put on by the higher powers. In order to handle it with ease, I have, from the very beginning, maintained a proper registration of the date-wise payment as well as the register of the supply and price of the goods, along with the work done and their approx. cost. It is due to the completion of this rehabilitation project and therefore, played an essential role in the final payment. Santoshi brothers were eager to make allegations in such a big task; they accused us, made complaints, but our team did this project with complete honesty, skill, efficiency as well as loyalty, till all the allegations were dropped off. After the completion rehabilitation, this thermal power generating unit had all the records deleted to the scratch. And this, I can say, was one of the biggest achievements of my professional life.
In conclusion, I would like to end my writeup by saying that ‘work is work’, and if carried out with honesty and efficiency and within time limit, then the achievements will come to you naturally and frequently, it won’t matter then if you are working in a Government program or a private enterprise. Self-motivation should be practiced whether you get any praise or award for that or not, because you will definitely get mind peace and hearty satisfaction. You will get the much-needed rest. Once you believe work is worship, you will get to enjoy your name and your success in leisure.
Author: Harshvardhan Vyas, Jabalpur (MP)