ONGC appeals for withdrawal of 48-hour bandh

GUWAHATI: Public Sector Oil giant,  Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has called upon the organizations which have called for 48-hour ONGC Assam Assets bandh from September 19, to withdraw the agitation programme stating that such bandhs not only impact ONGC’s operations but also tarnish the image of Assam.

A communiqué issued by the Executive Director of ONGC’s , Assam Assets, states:“ONGC is operating in Assam for the last sixty years and all throughout has been supporting the local community development and uplift of the society through direct and indirect social and financial support.

“During the last year, ONGC has spent an amount of Rs 15  crore through its CSR policy. Current year, this support would be crossing Rs 25 crore. In spite of continuous support of ONGC to the people of Assam, certain group of people having vested interests, are spreading wrong image of ONGC and alleging that ONGC is working against people of Assam. Many a times, such groups are organising bandhs against ONGC which directly or indirectly impacts not only ONGC operations but also the image of the state of Assam which is working hard to facilitate business investments for the development of the state and its people. Such agitating groups need to understand that agitation / bandhs is not the right way to resolve any matter. In fact it creates a negative image of people of Assam as well as Assam state across the business community.

“ONGC drills around 30 wells in a year to produce oil and gas. For carrying out the drilling activity, ONGC needs to construct drill sites costing Rs 1.50 to 2.00 crore per site to support the drilling rig operations. In line with ONGC’s endeavour to transparently allow the local population / vendors to participate in ONGC business activities, ONGC has recently invited a tender for concluding a three-year Annual Rate Contract (ARC) for civil construction of its drill sites instead of inviting a tender for each well site wherein only a few contractors dominate the tender process. Through this ARC which will be concluded through one tender only, ONGC will empanel 300-400 big as well as small civil contractors for award of work for a period of three years. Every site will be developed by 4 contractors – small as well as big. Through this ARC, even the small contractors shall be able to work directly with ONGC instead of working through big contractors. The value of the new contract will be around Rs 150 crore for contracts of various financial values ranging from 10 lakh to 1 crore.

“In next three years approximately around 350-400 civil jobs will be implemented through ARC. The work will be awarded to empanelled contractors on rotation basis. Moreover,  ONGC’s partner contractors will be able to plan their resources in time to deliver quality drill sites, save time, speed up the works and earn money.

“There are a few organisations who are raising objections to ARC initiative of ONGC. To make these organisations understand the advantages of ARC, a meeting of ONGC and the organisations, chaired by District Deputy Commissioner, was held on September 14th, in Sivasagar. ONGC clearly explained the purpose and mutual benefits of ARC. It was also clarified to them that there was no change in the qualifying criterion as perceived by them. Further, it was reiterated that the ARC is aimed at creating opportunities for more people.

“However, some organisations have called for 48 Hours ONGC Bandh from September 19th 2019.

“The stoppage of operations due to such bandhs of the company leads to a loss of 2000 tonnes of oil and One Million Standard Cubic Metres of Gas per day. Such huge loss will have grave impact in the light of international supply disruptions owing to the attacks on Saudi Armco installations recently.

“Assam Asset, through ARCs, has empanelled 113 civil contractors for work over sites also with a contract value of Rs 37 crores. It has also given  350 individual car owner cum drivers a contract for four years thus enriching their lives. In the last few years ONGC had directly recruited 1486 local unemployed youth too.

ONGC once again reiterates that it is committed to enhance employment opportunities in the operational areas and earnestly requests the agitating organisations not to resort to proposed ONGC bandh. ONGC also appeals to the people and business partners (contractor unions) to cooperate and to withdraw the proposed ONGC bandh to ensure uninterrupted supply of oil and gas for the nation’s growth.

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