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ONGC employees attack CMD's car, to go on strike from Wednesday
Syed Firdaus Ashraf & Vijay Singh in Mumbai |
August 12, 2003 09:28 IST
Last Updated: August 12, 2003 18:30 IST
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited employees on Tuesday afternoon attacked the vehicle which brought the company's Chairman and Managing Director Subir Raha to its office in Santa Cruz.
They were angry at Raha for not turning up at the Santa Cruz office on Monday to handle the situation after a chopper carrying ONGC personnel crashed in the Arabian Sea.
Earlier in the day, the employees decided to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday to highlight the dangerous aspects of their work and to press for better safety for chopper operations.
Association of Scientific and Technical Officers working president L K Mirchandani told rediff.com that talks with the management on Tuesday morning had failed.
After the talks, Mirchandani briefed mediapersons about their demands, which are:
1. A CBI enquiry into the crash and immediate suspension of CMD Subir Raha
2. Compensation of Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million) for the family of the deceased in Monday's crash
3. Jobs for relatives of the deceased
4. Waiver of Income Tax on hard work/offshore duty compensation (the request is pending before the CBDT)
5. Immediate recruitment to fill vacant posts
6. Replacement of outdated choppers
The strike, Mirchandani said, would begin from Mumbai and then spread to places throughout the country where ONGC operates.
It is learnt that, as of Tuesday, operations at the roughly 20 ONGC rigs off the Mumbai coast are normal.
The chopper carrying ONGC personnel, which crashed on Monday afternoon, was on Tuesday morning 0528 IST found lying upside down on the seabed.
It was lying about 180 metres east off the Sagar Kiran rig in the Neelam oil field area, 35 km off the Mumbai coast, ONGC spokesperson Narayani Mahil told rediff.com in Mumbai.
The chopper was carrying 29 persons when it crashed at around 1215 IST shortly after taking off from the rig.
So far, three bodies have been found while two survivors had been rescued on Monday.
Coast Guard, ONGC and Indian Navy personnel are engaged in relief operations.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has announced an inquiry by Deputy Director V K Chandana into the cause of the accident.
Efforts are on to recover the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, which could provide vital clues about the crash, DGCA officials told PTI.
The Russian-made helicopter had logged about 3,000 flying hours since Mesco acquired it in 1995.
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