Representative image.

ONGC, reiterating its commitment to enhance employment opportunities in the operational areas, requested the agitating groups not to resort to proposed 48-hour ONGC bandh from Thursday.

ONGC also appealed to the people and business partners (contractor unions) to cooperate and withdraw the proposed ONGC bandh to ensure uninterrupted supply of oil and gas for the nation’s growth.

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The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been operating in Assam for the last 60 years.

In a press statement, the oil major said it has been “supporting the local community development and society upliftment 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,” it claimed.

“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,” it said.

It claimed that the bandhs called against ONGC directly or indirectly impacts not only ONGC operations but also the “image of the state of Assam”.

ONGC claimed it has been “working hard to facilitate business investments for the development of the state and its people”.

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 endevour 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 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, it said.

A few organisations 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 14 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 19, 2019. Such bandhs will harm the economic interests of the nation, Assam State and ONGC,” it said.

“The stoppage of operations 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,” it added.

ONGC said through ARCs, it has empaneled 113 civil contractors for workover sites with a contract value of Rs 37 crore.

“It has also given 350 individual car owners-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,” it claimed.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at:

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