GSPC surrenders to 'Robin Hood' Rao at Yanam

Vol 19, PW 2 (24 Sep 15) People & Policy

In its home state Gujarat GSPC has done very little Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work.

But it’s a different story in the union territory of Yanam where it has spent Rs40cr ($6m) to appease tough-talking legislator Malladi Krishna Rao, a self-styled ‘Robin Hood’, who has in the past threatened work at the company’s Deen Dayal West gasfield. On July 13 a jubilant Rao accompanied Puducherry chief minister N.

Rangaswamy to inaugurate the following facilities set up with GSPC funding: the Sri Malladi Satyalingam Naicker mini indoor stadium and a health centre at Savitri Nagar; the Sri Raksha Harikrishna mini indoor stadium and primary health centre at Gueriampeta; and the Mahatma Jyothirao Phule mini indoor stadium at Dariyalatippa. When contacted a senior GSPC source downplays Rao’s role.

“GSPC will support community development activities at Yanam,” he says. “The welfare of local people is close to our hearts.

” Even closer to GSPC’s heart is the distant dream of commercial production from Deen Dayal West and it doesn’t want trouble from ‘Robin Hood’ Rao. In 2011-12, former GSPC managing director Tapan Ray refused Rao’s demand for Rs100cr ($15m).

In retaliation Rao brought work to a standstill for 103 days by inciting 10,000 local fishermen in 500 fishing boats to besiege GSPC’s KG-8 well-head platform in 2011. Peace was restored after GSPC agreed to spend Rs40cr on CSR.