KARACHI - The inefficiency and inept handling of the situation has been playing havoc with the great national asset - Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) - as one of its two Coke Oven Batteries (COB) has not been repaired even after a lapse of five months, The Nation learnt Wednesday. The COB-2 has resumed functioning while repair work on the other battery is moving with slow pace from the last 5 months. The battery number 2 is now functional, as it had been repaired by the Ukrainian engineers, hired for the repair work. The repair work on the battery number 1 is going at a snails pace due to a lack of funds for the last 5 months. The funds are not available as the PSM is facing worst financial crunch of its history. The engineers working on these batteries are now moving back to their country, as they were also not being paid from last 5 months, said the source. While giving the details about dismantling these batteries, he accused that the then PSM management had damaged both the Coke Oven Batteries purposely. It is to be noted that after the Supreme Court of Pakistan undo the privatisation of the PSM in 2007, the then management destroyed the coke oven batteries. This was done in the context to prove that the PSM could not function properly under the government hold and needed to be privatised. Interestingly, the deal for privatisation of the PSM was dubious and had raised many controversies that ended up in the reversal of the privatisation. The repair work on the two damaged coke oven batteries started in 2007 after the PSM privatisation was revoked. The PSM, for this purpose, contracted a Ukrainian company and hired its 87 engineers and workers to complete the work, he recalled. He lamented that due to persistent non-payment, 50 engineers and workers abandoned the work, in turn, leaving the repair work at a snails pace. About the working of coke oven batteries, he mentioned that it is used to make fine coke, the by-products of this product is very useful, like Ammonium Sulphate and tar coal. The coke oven gas produced in the process is used to run the thermal power generation plants at the PSM while it is also used to keep the furnaces heated. On the other hand, a PSM spokesman said that the repair work on battery is well underway and likely to be completed by June 2010. The contract has been assigned to a Ukrainian company, amounting $2m in last June.