Bhola Nath Shukla took over as the chairman & managing director (CMD) of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in June this year, filling a void that lasted for several months.
Having a distinguished career of 37 years in the coal industry, Mr Shukla was Director (Technical) at Ranchi (Jharkhand)-headquartered sister subsidiary Coal Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI), before taking over the charge of MCL.
A mining engineering graduate from IIT (BHU) and M.Tech in Opencast Mining from IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, Mr Shukla is credited for introduction of innovative technologies into coal mining.
During his earlier stint at MCL, Mr Shukla had held appointments in the coalfields as well as at the headquarters. While serving as Area General Manager of Hingula and Bharatpur areas in the Talcher coalfields, he had successfully managed rehabilitation and resettlement issues, leading the units to a new growth trajectory.
As a General Manager (Corporate Planning & Projects), Mr Shukla was instrumental in company’s new initiatives into energy sector and infrastructure development for coal mining and despatch.
Creation of Mahanadi Basin Power Limited (MBPL) company for pithead Super Critical Thermal Power Plant (2 x 800 MW), fillip to the work at Jharsuguda-Barapalli rail link, diversification into solar, port and power transmission, evolved as new areas of growth of company as a “total energy solution provider”.
Earlier, Mr Shukla was also the Director (Technical)/Coal Resource Development), CMPDI and Director (Technical), Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), Asansol (West Bengal).
Besides his technical acumen and having presented several technical papers, Mr Shukla was also into adventures sports and had cycled from Varanasi to Kathmandu (Nepal).
MCL, which produced 144 million tonne during the year 2018-19, is targeting 167 million tonne coal production during the current fiscal.
Shukla had emerged as the trouble-shooter in chief after a workers’ agitation backed by political parties paralysed coal production and offtake from Asia’s second largest coalfields- Talcher Coalfields under the command area of MCL. The MCL CMD had camped for two days at Talcher given the magnitude of the crisis and after things looked to spin out of control of the company authorities.