Srivastava's farewell as DGH boss returns home

Vol 15, PW 21 (03 May 12) People & Policy

Flowers eventually reached SK Srivastava’s farewell party at the DGH on April 30, but only after considerable delay.

No surprise if you’ve ever struggled to get anything out of Indian bureaucrats. But DGH officials organising their outgoing chief’s party, scheduled for 10am, were caught unawares and had to postpone it by four hours.

“The bouquets weren’t ready,” says an apologetic organiser, “and boss (Srivastava) had to rush to the oil ministry for a noon meeting so he suggested the party could be held post-lunch.” Fifty-six year old Srivastava, who has won a reputation as a stickler for the rules during his tenure as director general, returned at 2pm and strode into the DGH conference room where his loyal staff waited with the promised flowers.

“It was an emotional moment,” we hear. “Twelve department heads were present and no less than 18 officers gave five-minute speeches each sharing their personal experience of working with Srivastava.

” Over tea and snacks, gathered officials probably noticed this farewell was very different to when Srivastava’s predecessor VK Sibal left under a black cloud for his alleged proximity to Reliance. “Srivastava was a better boss than Sibal,” we hear.

“His feet were firmly on the ground and he was good at identifying the right person for each job and delegating tasks.” Speeches over, the party ended a little after 5.30pm.

“Srivastava made the PSC sacrosanct,” comments a private E&P operator. “He always tried to help operators as long as they stuck to the PSC.

” Srivastava has since taken charge at Oil India, where he was earlier director operations until February 2010. Outgoing chairman NM Borah held his farewell party at 4pm on April 30.

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