Pradhan’s ‘secret’ visit angers villagers

Vol 22, PW 23 (05 Sep 19) News in Brief

Dharmendra Pradhan’s "secret’ day-long visit to ONGC’s Mehsana asset on August 22 has triggered an angry backlash from local villagers who felt "cheated" because they were not allowed to meet the oil minister.

Accompanied by ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker and director onshore SK Moitra, Pradhan was in Mehsana to chair an asset review meeting and visit Becharaji where ONGC has completed a pilot polymer flooding project and lay the foundation stone for another polymer injection facility at NORTH KADI. "Pradhan had a busy schedule," says an ONGC source.

"We work at ONGC but even we came to know about the meeting only a few days before." Pradhan’s visit was kept secret as Mehsana farmers have clashed with ONGC in the past and ONGC feared they would heckle him.

"We had so many complaints for Pradhan but we were kept away," a village headman, tells us. When Pradhan visited GGS-2, Parmar alongwith other villagers rushed to the GGS-2 gate but ONGC security blocked their entry.

"Even newspaper reporters and TV journalists were not allowed inside," says a local Mehsana journalist. "What was Pradhan trying to hide?"