Still no sign of BC Tripathi's 6-month extension

Vol 22, PW 11 (21 Mar 19) People & Policy

GAIL chairman BC Tripathi must be spending sleepless nights wondering if he will ever get a six-month extension to remain in his post until retirement aged 60.

This report learns the anti-corruption Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) watchdog is withholding its stamp of approval on Tripathi's file. "Tripathi's file has received a negative IB (Intelligence Bureau) report," says a well-placed source.

He adds Tripathi is also under scrutiny because some still hold him (partly) responsible for a massive fire in GAIL's pipeline network at Tatipaka in Andhra Pradesh on June 27, 2014, which led to 22 deaths forcing the PNGRB to slap a Rs20 lakh ($28,500) fine on GAIL for negligence in July 2015. "Tripathi was DGM projects working on that pipeline in 2005-06," we hear.

"He said no gas dehydration was needed before gas was pumped into the pipeline system. That case is still open."

Another reason Tripathi's file is in limbo is because the government is apparently worried that if it gives him a second extension it will set a precedent. "He has received one extension already," we hear.

"And that too for a full five years. Giving him another extension will set an example.

Tomorrow similar requests might follow from other PSU chairmen." Tripathi completes 10 years as GAIL chairman on July 31 (2019) but needs a six-month extension until January 31 (2020) if he wants to remain in his post until retirement.