For Sardar Patel statue, oil PSUs are ‘directed’ to pay Rs 200 crore

The agenda paper shows that 14 state-run Gujarat companies had extended Rs 104.88 crore as financial support for the project.

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi | Published:June 6, 2017 5:22 am
BR5-UNITY6: The Statue of Unity, taking shape, has reached a height of 117 meters from the mean sea level, which is 59 meters of the actual height of the 182 meter statue. Express Photo By Bhupendra Rana 05/06/2017

Following instructions from the Petroleum Ministry, oil and gas PSUs will pay at least Rs 200 crore for the Statue of Unity, the 182-metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is being installed at the Sadhu Bet island, 3.5 km south of the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat. While Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will contribute Rs 50 crore each out of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, other profit-making public sector undertakings (PSUs) have been told to pay Rs 25 crore each.

“Other oil sector PSU, particularly IOC, has already been directed to contribute in tune of Rs 50 crore for this project. Other than ONGC and IOC, other oil sector PSUs are contributing Rs 25 crore. By taking into consideration the total cost of the project, we may consider the proposal for grant of Rs 50 crore,” says the agenda note, approved by Chairman and Managing Director, ratified by the ONGC board in April. A GAIL India official confirmed that instructions were given by the Ministry last March for all oil and gas companies to support the project in “a collaborative mode”.

“It was conveyed at a CSR review meeting. No written order was issued,” the official said. Oil India Ltd, GAIL India Ltd, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have approved Rs 25 crore each for the project, taking the collective contribution so far to Rs 200 crore.  This would take care of nearly a fifth of the planned expenditure of Rs 1,040 crore for the Statue of Unity in financial year 2017-18. When asked about these directions, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, K D Tripathi, declined to comment.

ONGC said the project’s admissibility for CSR funds under Schedule VII of the Companies Act was “well covered” under promoting education, health and hygiene especially for tribal populace among others…ensuring environmental sustainability and protection of national heritage, art and culture. The agenda note also cites Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s suggestion that ONGC can “reposition its CSR funds to meet Department of Public Enterprises’ directives to spend 33 per cent of CSR budget on Swachh Bharat activities”.

The agenda paper shows that 14 state-run Gujarat companies had extended Rs 104.88 crore as financial support for the project. Among them, top donors include Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (Rs 17 crore); Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd (Rs 15.88 crore); Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (Rs 15 crore); Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited and Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (Rs 10 crore each).

Under construction since October 2014, the statue is envisaged as the world’s tallest when completed. Its contract was awarded to Larsen and Toubro for Rs 2989 crore with a targeted completion date of October 2018. The statue complex is planned to be spread over 20,000 square m of project area and will be surrounded by an artificial lake.

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  1. S
    Srinivasan Natarajan
    Jun 10, 2017 at 7:33 am
    Gujarat being Earth Quake prone area and also the Statue is also 183.M height and surrounded by Sarvodaya Dam near by one should know what are the precautions taken by Government on the following issues and which code of practice are taken for Designing 1) Design Code for Earth Quake Resistance 2) Structure being 183M -Precaution against wind velocity 3) Sarvodaya Dam being near by Water Turbulence etc 4) Environmental Safety etc
    1. I
      Ishrak Shah
      Jun 7, 2017 at 4:56 am
      Do we really needs this !!! Total waste of money and instead of this so called modi govt could have put this big amount on any sector fir the benifit of the public !! Nhi but hum to log hai bhai hum public ka nhi apna bhala karege !!
      1. R
        Ravi kiran
        Jun 7, 2017 at 12:20 am
        Why are people worried about mere 200 crore when 20000 crore is wasted by ONGC to takeover GSPC which has nothing but 20000 crore in debt
        1. A
          Anil saxena
          Jun 6, 2017 at 8:53 pm
          The present govetnment is doing the same job as our Ex U.P. Chief minister bahen Mayawati has done. Making statues and directing government PSU companies to contribute for building the same shows that the hard earned money of tax payers is going to be siphoned through this process towards the non productive cause. Our peoole are starving Kisans are strugg for better life and are doing suicides and the government is doing such things on top priority. Don't know where these Netas are taking such a poor country where lot of health problems education problems bread and butter ptoblems unemployment problems are on top scale. Pray to God to give them good vision and foresight to do some productive work for the poor people of this country.
          1. R
            Raja segaran
            Jun 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm
            The FATE of 2989 crore Budgeted "The Statue of Unity" is, "SEA BIRD'S EXPENSIVE TING PLACE".
            1. R
              Raja segaran
              Jun 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm
              The FATE of 2989 crore Budgeted "The Statue of Unity" is, "SEA BIRD'S EXPENSIVE TING PLACE".
              1. M
                Mohan Tvm
                Jun 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm
                Couldn't find the news in any other newspapers. Did IE got the news by any sting operation?
                1. N
                  Jun 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm
                  At a time when we are ree with all kind of drought related deaths and other civic issues, the mind boggles as to how someone can conceive a plan for a statue at such cost. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, given his simplicity and no-nonsensical approach would be turning in his grave so to speak. We should get rid of this mentality of spending public money making big statues in the names of our leaders when it can be gainfully spent for the uplift of the community at large.
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