ONGC takes steps to fight Covid-19 virus spread

Vol 23, PW 11 (09 Apr 20) People & Policy

ONGC is stepping up efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus among its workforce in line with DGH guidelines calling for "uninterrupted operations" in the oil and gas industry.

On March 27, DGH additional director general (development) Anand Gupta announced that all oil sector services were essential and exempt from the 21-day nationwide lockdown which began on March 24. Before that, ONGC started taking steps to fight the virus at its 12 onland assets and facilities, while trying to maintain production.

On March 23, executive director employee relations SK Wadhwani issued a one-page order effective March 24 which extends each worker's shift at installations from eight to 12 hours while decreasing the total number of shift changes each day from three to two. "This is to check man movement," explains an ONGC source.

Wadhwani also ordered new guidelines for onshore rigs similar to those reported in our March 26 edition that will see workers remain in place on offshore platforms for 28 days instead of 14. Workers who have completed 14 days of leave must now stay on location and not move.

Also suspended is the Quarterly Transit Facility (QTF) which allows ONGC employees in northeastern India to travel at company expense to see families twice a year. On March 25, ONGC also set up temporary control rooms to 'remotely' monitor production round-the-clock at its Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Cambay and Ankleshwar assets.