At first glance, Walchandnagar in western Maharashtra could pass off as any remote, dusty and depraved village on the country’s rural landscape. But the villages is closely linked to the country’s ambitious space programme.
The village’s name is the first give-away. It’s named after the legendary Indian entrepreneur Walchand Hirachand, who laid the foundation of some of the biggest nation-building projects.
The 110-year-old Walchand Industries Ltd (WIL), located here, has a turnover of Rs 400 crore with around 1,400 employees in Walchandnagar’s population of around 15,000, and is playing a pivotal role in India’s space programmes.
WIL was originally a heavy engineering giant making hi-tech engineering products, including sugar plants, co-generation plants, cement plants and other basic industries, in tune with the vision of Walchand Hirachand.
After Independence, it gradually reworked its DNA to diversify into defence, nuclear and aerospace to match the country’s needs.
Walchand Hirachand had set up Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (Vishakhapatnam) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (Bengaluru). They were later involved in manufacturing and supplying sensitive components to nuclear power plants in the country.
Since 1973, the company started delving into rocket science, literally. WIL Managing Director-cum-CEO G.K. Pillai told IANS and added, it started with the SLV-3 project and since 2003 the company was working on GSLV Mk II projects.
“It’s a matter of pride for the company as it made critical components for the proposed Chandrayaan 2 rocket ‘Bahubali’, which will take an orbiter, lander and rover to explore the Moon’s South Pole,” Pillai said. (The launch was scheduled for July 15, but has been postponed due to a technical snag).
In an active, but low-profile collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since 1973, WIL provided several critical equipments to India’s maiden mission to moon — the Chandrayaan 1 explorer — that was launched on October 22, 2008.
Pillai said WIL would play a crucial role in Gaganyaan, India’s first manned space mission in 2022, but declined to elaborate.
Around 1979, WIL started manufacturing and supplying motor cases for ISRO’s Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)-3 project. But the experimental flight in August 1979 failed. It was followed by a successful launch in July 1980, marking India’s indigenous foray into space.
Prior to that, India had launched its first satellite Aryabhatta in April 1975 and then Bhaskara Sega-1 in June 1979, both from the Kapustin Yar Missile and Space Complex, in the erstwhile USSR.
As the country’s space programme blossomed, WIL also flourished and manufactured important components for various projects, like SLV-3, ASLV to PSLV and GSLV Mk II and GSLV Mk III.
“WIL’s equipment have been successfully used in launching Rohini, Sross (Stretched Rohini Satellite Series), IRS (India’s remote sensing programme), G-Sat and other Indian satellites,” Pillai said.
Till date, the company has contributed 141 strap-on boosters for PSLV/GSLV Mk II, 151 core boosters for PSLV/GSLV Mk II, 16 core boosters for GSLV Mk III, besides other hardware, like nozzles, tankages and end rings.
The company is set to deliver hardware for a dozen PSLV flights per year and four GSLV Mk III flights per year from its facility in Walchandnagar to ISRO.
The facility boasts of technical know-how and skilled manpower to handle aerospace grade materials, like 15CDV6, high-strength maraging steel, titanium and its alloys, and aluminium alloys.
It has also established critical process parameters for wide-ranging manufacturing processes for metal forming, metal joining, heat-treatment, fabrication, precision machining and pressure testing for large-sized jobs having complex geometry.
Walchand Hirachand had set up India’s first ‘desi’ automobile manufacturing company, which churned out the quaint Premier Padmini sedans from 1949, a few of which are still visible on Mumbai roads, beating the Birla Group’s Hindustan Motors Ltd.
Sweets are distributed Before IPS gets transfer order… Uddhav Govt is under docs over transfers
Shivsena Govt in Maharashtra is under shadow over transfers of Govt Officials. The opposition is continuously attacking Shivsena Govt on transfers and placement of Govt officials they say that there is big nexus of Govt Officials and Political leaders in power and everything is happening under this nexus. Possibly big money involvement is also there. However, there have been cancellations of transfer orders in Udhav Govt and this suggests that someone is holding the remote for the Govt.
This time also similar case is seen in the post of SP of Raigarh it is said that many IPS are in a queue for the post and on the other side, politicians are also up as they want their officers to be appointed and that why there is a delay in coming up of the order and there is a twist that an officer named Ashok Dudhe has been confirmed for the post before any order. NCP leader and MP Sunil Tatkare have been vouching for Mr. Dudhe as Tatkare wants him to be appointed in Raigarh.
Now the question arises that why Merit is cornered in this Govt and posting and transfers are happening at the behest of political leaders. And now if Mr. Dudhe is appointed then it is confirmed that it happened coz of Tatkare and there is an element of corruption and political interference is there and what Udhav Govt does to curb this.
Senior Kerala journalist N.J.Nair passes away
N.J. Nair, senior journalist and deputy chief of Kerala operations – The Hindu, passed away in the wee hours of Monday.
He was 59 and is survived by his wife and two sons. A hugely loved and respected journalist for his pleasing and mild manners, Nair began his career with The Indian Express and had been with The Hindu for the past 25 years.
Nair was set to superannuate early next year. He passed away following a cardiac arrest at a private hospital here.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor of Meghalaya P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, State Ministers Thomas Issac and Kadakampally Surendran condoled the death of Nair.
“Nair, was a widely respected journalist for the way he carried out his job and was always working for the upliftment of the state through his articles. His death will be a loss for the media,” said Chief Minister Vijayan.
Mumbai fishermen net a whale shark
Mumbai: A fishing trawler accidentally netted a gigantic 8-metres long, around 2-3 tonnes weight dotted Whale-Shark fish, while fishing off Mumbai, late on Tuesday night It was dragged in the dead early on Wednesday and later lifted by a crane, and kept at Sassoon Docks. (Photo: IANS)
Late on Tuesday night, a fishing trawler in the Arabian Sea accidentally netted a big catch around 40-50 kms off Colaba.
A giant dotted whale shark got entangled in the fishing nets and desperately struggled to set itself free, but failed, said one of the fishermen on board the vessel.
Owing to darkness and inclement weather conditions, the fishing trawler decided to sail back to Mumbai, dragging the creature in the nets behind it, and reached here early on Wednesday.
They left it along with the net near the shores of the 145-year-old Sassoon Docks in Colaba and sailed back into the sea, informed Damodar Tandel, President of Akhil Bharatiya Machhimar Kriti Samiti and prominent fisherfolk leader.
Later, a crane was deployed to lift the massive dotted whale shark that was around 8-metres (over 26 feet) long, and weighed more than two tonnes (two thousand kilograms).
The crane laid it on the docks as curious fisherfolk gathered around to click selfies this morning.
“We were on a routine patrol in the area and saw this enormous fish, which the fishermen revere as ‘Dev-Masa’ lying here,” Colaba Police Station’s constable Swapnil Kumbhar told IANS.
Though Kumbhar was not clear of the next course of action, prominent fisherfolk leader Damodar Tandel said the whale shark was taken away by a trader who will extract oil from it and dispose off the remains.
This is the first instance in recent times that such a massive fish got entangled in a fishing net, though Mumbai and Maharashtra coastline have witnessed incidents of similar sea-giants getting washed ashore in the past, he said.
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