Rahaآ’s crusade against ONGC corruption gathers pace

Vol 8, PW 6 (16 Jun 04) People & Policy

ONGC chairman Subir Raha has ripped apart several ONGC departments by exposing their inefficiencies, incompetence and corrupt practices.

Addressing an internal forum on 8th June, Raha targeted the following departments: materials management, drilling and well services. He came down heavily on ONGCs cumbersome procedure of awarding tenders and contracts.

Anything and everything that could be corrupted was corrupted - systematically, regularly, consistently, he said. The way the public tenders process has been abused and is still being abused for corrupt objectives is unimaginable.

Raha admitted that even now some files that come to him for approval or signatures exhibit an utter disregard of rules and procedures. Just one example says it all, said Raha.

It was on 2nd October 2001. Out of a fleet of 31 OSVs, if I remember, 17 or18 were out of service.

One had sunk because of bad maintenance. Our own vessels were out of service for 1,2,3,4,5 years and we were chartering OSVs from private parties happily and no one raised a finger.

Raha blasted ONGC managers for ignoring these regular irregularities. Thousands of crores of equipment were lying either unused even unpacked or broken down and even broken down for years together, in the field, in the laboratories, in the platforms, everywhere.

He said nobody at ONGC is bothered with wastage of property, which leads to massive losses for ONGC. The sum and substance of the leadership was getting a few more rupees, honestly if possible, but otherwise dishonestly.

Raha was most critical of ONGCs drilling department. Discipline is another major problem in the organisation, he said.

The bottom line is that we have unacceptably high indiscipline on our own drilling rigs in the offshore. Raha said that many officers and workers are doing a good job but that a minority is giving ONGC a bad name.

This minority is responsible for the continuing loss of millions of dollars in under utilisation of our own rigs. If this is leadership, they should be thrown out of the organisation.