Delhi authorities close Oil India HQ at Sikandra Road

Vol 11, PW 12 (18 Oct 07) People & Policy

Oil India will soon have to start looking for a new corporate office.

PETROWATCH learns on (Friday) October 12, Oil India’s HQ at 7 Sikandra Road in Delhi was â€کsealed’ by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) acting under stringent new rules that outlaw the running of a business from residential areas. “Pasrija (Oil India CMD) and other directors were present when they came to â€کseal’ the office,â€‌ says an eyewitness.

“There was panic. Everyone was in frenzy.

People were told to collect whatever they could.â€‌ Closure of the Oil India office was not without warning.

“NDMC sent two notices three months back,â€‌ admits a company source. “But the administration department took it lightly and just sat on them.

â€‌ Confirms an Oil India spokesperson dryly: “We have approached the authorities and asked them to â€کde-seal’ the office. We are a government company and they should have considered that.

â€‌ Following the dramatic closure Pasrija and the entire board was forced to de-camp to Oil India’s office in the Delhi suburb of Noida, where the company runs its international business division. Three days later on (Monday) October 15, Oil India managed to persuade Delhi authorities to briefly â€کde-seal’ its Sikandra Road office so that staff could collect belongings and recover critical data.

Witnesses spotted secretarial staff moving files. Contacted by this report, Delhi authorities tell us their decision to close the Oil India office is final.

“Once an office is sealed by our monitoring committee due to misuse of the premises it can open only for a company to remove its stuff,â€‌ says AM Athale, deputy chief architect, NDMC. “Once that period is over the premises can not be used for any commercial activity so the company you are mentioning will have to look for a new office.

â€‌ Pasrija and other directors, we hear, will work from the Noida office until Oil India finds a new HQ in central Delhi.