ONGC reaches out to families of sunk barge

By: |
May 23, 2021 3:52 PM

Senior officials from the oil ministry and ONGC are monitoring the relief and rescue operations continuously and hourly updates are being obtained, officials said.

They have also told the court that pursuance to the Centre and ONGC's assurance they have made substantial investments to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has started reaching out to families of the dead, missing and survivors of the private contractor-operated barge that sank in the Arabian Sea after being battered by a severe cyclone.

While Indian Navy, Coast Guard, ONGC teams and private contractor Afcons are putting in all efforts to locate the missing personnel through sea vessels and aerial search, the state-owned firm has extended an immediate relief of Rs 1 lakh to the survivors and Rs 2 lakh to the deceased and missing persons’ families, company officials said.

“Teams have formed which have started visiting the families to hand over immediate relief amounts,” an official said. “So far, 13 families have been provided with the immediate relief and the rest will be handed over the cheques at the earliest possible.

There were 261 persons onboard Afcons’ Barge P-305, which lost anchor and hit an unmanned installation before capsizing last week. While 186 were rescued, 66 bodies have so far been recorded and nine are still missing.

“Those on barge P-305 were either employees of Afcons or hired by them for executing a contract the firm has won from ONGC. We are obtaining details of those onboard P-305 from the private contractor to extend the relief,” he said.

Caught in high velocity winds and swelling sea, all the anchors of the Barge P-305 gave away, leading it to drift uncontrollably. It hit an unmanned platform of ONGC resulting in water ingress and eventually capsized at around 1700 Hrs of May 17.

A 24×7 helpline was set up from May 18.

In order to reach out the all the families which ONGC is not able to contact because of non-availability of phone numbers, ONGC has issued a press release in this regard in vernacular languages in the states of domicile of the affected persons, so that family members can contact the company on helpline numbers for any assistance required for the purpose.

“ONGC is providing all necessary logistical help and support for the dependent family members to travel to Mumbai and back besides making arrangements for families to take back the mortal remains of the deceased person to their hometown,” the official said. “ONGC and AFCONS teams are working together to provide support to families in distress.”

So far, 40 bodies have been identified so far and all formalities have been completed for 35.

ONGC has provided complete logistics support to the families of 17 deceased persons to take the mortal remains to their hometown.

Afcons has also extended similar support for 17 deceased persons whereas family of one person took the custody of mortal remains by themselves.

ONGC has also set up a helpdesk at the JJ Hospital to facilitate the families of the deceased persons.

Senior officials from the oil ministry and ONGC are monitoring the relief and rescue operations continuously and hourly updates are being obtained, officials said.

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