Pradhan's friends occupy IOC guest house

Vol 18, PW 9 (18 Dec 14) People & Policy

IndianOil officers are outraged that oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has commandeered one of the company’s guesthouses to entertain relatives, friends, and fellow BJP party workers.

IOC officers working on the under-construction 15m t/y Paradip refinery in Orissa, which is plagued by frustrating delays, complain they have no place to stay when they visit state capital Bhubaneswar on company work. This despite two IOC guesthouses in the city – one at Forest Park near the city airport and the other at Shaheed Nagar.

The Forest Park facility has been “permanently booked” by the oil ministry since September, ostensibly to monitor work at Paradip. But in reality it seems Pradhan, who was MP from Deogarh in Orissa from 2004 to 2009, has taken over the guesthouse for his close friends and relatives who visit Bhubaneswar’s many temples.

“We hardly see any oil ministry officials at the guest house,” complains an IOC source. “All we see are women, children and BJP workers merrily roaming around.

” Earlier only the four rooms on the ground floor were booked by the ministry, but now even the three top floor rooms have been requisitioned. More than 500 IOC officers are posted at Paradip and they routinely visit Bhubaneswar to get approvals and clearances from the state government.

They also visit the city for medical treatment as Paradip lacks adequate facilities.