New Delhi: Days after one of its barges capsized and sunk in the Arabian Sea, killing 51 personnel onboard, state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of those who have died and are missing and Rs 1 lakh for the survivors. In an official statement released on Friday, ONGC said, "ONGC management has decided to extend an immediate relief of Rs 1 lakh to the survivors and Rs 2 lakh for the BNVs and missing persons' families. ONGC has also setup a helpdesk to extend help. ONGC will facilitate the dependent family members of the rescued crew in providing logistics and expenses."
"At this hour, we are looking at rescue and rehabilitation task. Our business partner Afcons who was operating the affected barges has been with us in this task. We are saddened by the events and express our deep sorrow at the loss of life and pay our tributes to the BNVs (Brave, Nature's Victims). The combined rescue and search efforts will be continued for few more days and we hope that it will help us save more lives. In this hour of grief, M/s Afcons are working on the compensation for the affected crew, which will be operationalised soon," said ONGC.
ONGC has also set up helpline numbers for the family of the affected personnel — 022-26274419, 022-26274420 and 022-26274421. The company also said that a list of affected crew members is being put on ONGC website, www.ongcindia.com.
Cyclone Tauktae had hit Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai in the early hours of May 17, where ONGC's major production installations and drilling rigs are located. Three construction barges of M/s Afcons working on a project of ONGC in Western Offshore fields in the Arabian Sea and one floater drilling rig of ONGC were severely impacted in the cyclone.
All the anchors of barge P-305 had given away, it started drifting and hit an unmanned platform of ONGC resulting in water ingress and eventually capsized at around 1700 Hrs of May 17. ONGC OSVs (Offshore Supply Vessels) were immediately pressed into service for rescue operation along with INS Kochi and INS Kolkata of Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessel, said ONGC.
"ONGC along with the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard immediately swung into rescue operations. ONGC, Indian Navy, and the Indian Coast Guard, are continuing with extensive search and rescue operations. ONGC pays its gratitude to all those who helped fight the calamity. During this fight against ferocity of nature, employees on board displayed exemplary courage and continued their efforts to steer barges and rig to safety with beaten down functionality," said the oil behemoth.