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Work on Gas Cracker site to resume today

By Ron Duarah

DIBRUGARH, March 23 � Sub-contractors of the Assam Gas Cracker Project today exhibited an eagerness to cooperate with the Brahmaputra Cracker & Petrochemicals Limited (BCPL) � the holding company of the project � by agreeing to withdraw their indefinite cease work at the Rs 5400 crore mega project from this evening. However, normal work would resume at the project from Thursday morning. Work at the project suffered for the day, after aggrieved sub-contractors called for the strike in support of their long-standing demands.

Office-bearers of the BCPL Sub-Contractors� Association (BCPLSCA) were contacted by officials from BCPL and Engineers India Limited (EIL) and requested to re-consider their cease work agitation. Matters thawed after the association�s secretary, Girin Chandra Gogoi received a call from BCPL chief operating officer Prabhu Nath Prasad, who promised to sit in a meeting to sort out matters on Monday (March 28).

Work at the sprawling 3300 bigha gas cracker project site at Lepetkata came to a standstill from this morning, as the BCPLSCA-sponsored cease work came into effect. The skeletal personnel who were working at the work sites withdrew from a little after 9 am, ringing alarm bells from Dibrugarh to Delhi.

That good sense has prevailed and the sub-contractors have agreed to a meeting next Monday, and simultaneously calling off the strike goes miles to vouch for the sincerity of the sub-contractors in cooperating to ensure that unnecessary work shutdowns do not happen at the gas cracker site. The project is already running behind schedule by a year. Only very optimistic roadmap-points to commissioning of the gas cracker units by the fresh deadline of December 2013.

Though the sub-contractors have temporarily agreed to today�s truce, their problems remain and issues raised by them are yet to be answered. The more important among these are the timely settlement of the sub-contractors� bills by the prime contractors and recognition of the BCPLSCA by the chief employer, BCPL.

The association�s secretary, Girin Chandra Gogoi, said: �It is primarily our sweat and labour on which the mega project is taking shape, but the prime contractors tend to ignore us the moment they get their cheques from BCPL. This is unacceptable.�

Strangely enough, a major ire of the sub-contractors is on the public sector Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL), which has secured contracts worth about Rs 10 crore at the project. EPIL has sub contracted a major portion of its works to a firm called NAPS India, which in turn is taking goods and services of local small firms to carry out the actual construction activity. Till this far, all is well. But when the local service providers (all of these are affiliated to BCPLSCA) ask for their payments, NAPS India resorts to funny excuses, says a supplier who claims to have outstanding dues to the tune of Rs 6 crore from EPIL/NAPS. Meanwhile, BCPL sources told this newspaper that all EPIL bills are cleared by BCPL and if EPIL and its assigns are defaulting in their payments to local parties, there is little the BCPL can legally do.

Even so, the BCPL COO, Prabhu Nath Prasad has assured the BCPLSCA that he would go the extra mile to see to it that no injustice is done to anybody. �The only thing I have in mind is to have our project ready in time,� he told this newspaper. With the Prime Minister�s Office monitoring progress of work on almost a daily basis, the BCPL bosses have little else to think about. A similar view was also aired by top executives of EIL, who are the project management consultants of the gas cracker.

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Work on Gas Cracker site to resume today

DIBRUGARH, March 23 � Sub-contractors of the Assam Gas Cracker Project today exhibited an eagerness to cooperate with the Brahmaputra Cracker & Petrochemicals Limited (BCPL) � the holding company of the project � by agreeing to withdraw their indefinite cease work at the Rs 5400 crore mega project from this evening. However, normal work would resume at the project from Thursday morning. Work at the project suffered for the day, after aggrieved sub-contractors called for the strike in support of their long-standing demands.

Office-bearers of the BCPL Sub-Contractors� Association (BCPLSCA) were contacted by officials from BCPL and Engineers India Limited (EIL) and requested to re-consider their cease work agitation. Matters thawed after the association�s secretary, Girin Chandra Gogoi received a call from BCPL chief operating officer Prabhu Nath Prasad, who promised to sit in a meeting to sort out matters on Monday (March 28).

Work at the sprawling 3300 bigha gas cracker project site at Lepetkata came to a standstill from this morning, as the BCPLSCA-sponsored cease work came into effect. The skeletal personnel who were working at the work sites withdrew from a little after 9 am, ringing alarm bells from Dibrugarh to Delhi.

That good sense has prevailed and the sub-contractors have agreed to a meeting next Monday, and simultaneously calling off the strike goes miles to vouch for the sincerity of the sub-contractors in cooperating to ensure that unnecessary work shutdowns do not happen at the gas cracker site. The project is already running behind schedule by a year. Only very optimistic roadmap-points to commissioning of the gas cracker units by the fresh deadline of December 2013.

Though the sub-contractors have temporarily agreed to today�s truce, their problems remain and issues raised by them are yet to be answered. The more important among these are the timely settlement of the sub-contractors� bills by the prime contractors and recognition of the BCPLSCA by the chief employer, BCPL.

The association�s secretary, Girin Chandra Gogoi, said: �It is primarily our sweat and labour on which the mega project is taking shape, but the prime contractors tend to ignore us the moment they get their cheques from BCPL. This is unacceptable.�

Strangely enough, a major ire of the sub-contractors is on the public sector Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL), which has secured contracts worth about Rs 10 crore at the project. EPIL has sub contracted a major portion of its works to a firm called NAPS India, which in turn is taking goods and services of local small firms to carry out the actual construction activity. Till this far, all is well. But when the local service providers (all of these are affiliated to BCPLSCA) ask for their payments, NAPS India resorts to funny excuses, says a supplier who claims to have outstanding dues to the tune of Rs 6 crore from EPIL/NAPS. Meanwhile, BCPL sources told this newspaper that all EPIL bills are cleared by BCPL and if EPIL and its assigns are defaulting in their payments to local parties, there is little the BCPL can legally do.

Even so, the BCPL COO, Prabhu Nath Prasad has assured the BCPLSCA that he would go the extra mile to see to it that no injustice is done to anybody. �The only thing I have in mind is to have our project ready in time,� he told this newspaper. With the Prime Minister�s Office monitoring progress of work on almost a daily basis, the BCPL bosses have little else to think about. A similar view was also aired by top executives of EIL, who are the project management consultants of the gas cracker.