BJP leader blocks entry to ONGC Mumbai office

Vol 20, PW 25 (07 Sep 17) People & Policy

Mumbai-based BJP leader Suhas Mate has raised the stakes in his battle to win payment from ONGC for bankrupt Swiber's unpaid Indian subcontractors.

Mate, president of the Seafarers & Shipping Employees Union of India (SSEUI), and a dozen supporters staged a sit-in on August 24 by blocking the entrance of ONGC's 11-High office block in central Mumbai, asking for payments for small sub-contractors hit by Swiber's failure to complete work at the Daman, PRP-IV and C-26 projects. Eyewitnesses say Mate and his supporters forcefully prevented executive director chief of engineering services A.

Ravi and other ONGC officers leaving the building. Unnerved, ONGC officers sent a one-page plea the same day to chairman DK Sarraf with copies marked to the directors for offshore and onshore, exploration, technology and field services, finance and HR as well as to Mate.

Curiously, the letter was not signed by Ravi, the most senior ONGC officer obstructed that day. "(Mate and his supporters) have informed us they will further intensify the agitation by the evening by closing the main gate and not allowing the movement of any vehicle," said the letter.

"They have further created a scene by raising slogans on the pretext of receiving no positive response from ONGC for their demand to settle the pending bills of Swiber's Indian creditors." ONGC security tried to pacify protestors unsuccessfully but the crisis was only defused when a Maharashtra police van arrived.

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