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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hyderabad fiasco: Embarrassed HAL ducks for cover

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is running for cover after media reports on their officials doing the 'vanishing act' from the crucial final session of the just-concluded two-day International Conference and Exhibition on Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA), held in Hyderabad. Insiders confirm that HAL officials who were given the mandate of ensuring participation at the event (from Hyderabad Division) had to answer some uncomfortable queries from the company's corporate office in Bangalore.
The annual event organised by the Hyderabad chapter of Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), has gained significance over the years with the who is who of aeronautical fraternity (both civil and military) logging in their attendance. The concluding session of the event was chaired by Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat, who was given the mandate by AeSI to make an approach paper on the RTA's flightpath. Saraswat had downplayed HAL's absence from the crucial session by saying the company officials were in large numbers on the first day.
“A talk on India's RTA is incomplete without the presence of HAL, considering they have the expertise and strength in design, development and manufacturing in India now. While the private sector is definitely warming up to take big projects, they cannot completely ignore HAL. It is definitely a serious lapse from their part,” a senior official who attended the event said.
Interestingly, most speakers and participants at the concluding session of the meet were of the opinion that India's RTA should be built by an agency not owned by the government. HAL's over-loaded work schedule was the main reason, most had sighted during the debate.
An email, with two queries sent to HAL chairman R K Tyagi, evoked no response till late on Friday night. HAL's media manager too pointed towards Tyagi for answers. Repeated calls to Tyagi's mobile went unanswered, with his staff stating that he was away in Delhi.

Sources say that Tyagi, said to be a cool man, is upset following this incident. "We are finding out what went wrong, as being reported. We are finding out how many people were there during the concluding session," HAL's media manager G Sutar told Tarmak007.

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