Pradhan humiliates Deep chairman Savla

Vol 20, PW 21 (13 Jul 17) News in Brief

Paras Savla, chairman of Ahmedabad-based Deep Industries, is probably regretting his decision to attend a vendor's meet organised by ONGC in Delhi on June 29.

At the informal meeting at the India Habitat Centre drillers were introducing themselves to oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. "When Savla stood up," an eyewitness tells this report, "Pradhan asked if Deep was in the gas dehydration units business." A while later Pradhan turned pointedly to ONGC chairman DK Sarraf and asked who had invited Savla? "Before Sarraf could respond," adds our source, "Pradhan said 'such people shouldn't be invited.'" Despite this, Savla stayed till the end.

Deep is under investigation for allegations of misleading ONGC to win a Rs278.19cr ($46m) tender on June 29, 2015 to hire five gas dehydration units at Rajahmundry for three years. "Deep must have had a 'commitment' with someone for this tender," claims a source.

"But it looks like this 'commitment' hasn't been honoured and that someone is angry." Under scrutiny by the anti-corruption CVO watchdog, ONGC in 2015 justified a decision to award the gas dehydration contract to sole bidder Deep in alleged breach of its own tender terms. Asked to comment, Savla's phone was not reachable.