NEW DELHI: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has quietly changed the name of its newly built corporate office here to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Urja Bhawan after rescinding the name Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhawan given to it by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh nine years back.
Singh had on August 20, 2007 laid the foundation stone of the swanky but green-building of ONGC at Vasant Kunj here. At the foundation laying ceremony held on the birth anniversary of late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, which was also attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the building was named Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhawan.
The building, built at the cost of Rs 600 crore, was to house corporate office of India’s largest oil and gas producer and its overseas subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd.
But just before it moved into the new office in October last year, the company changed the name.
Reached for comments, ONGC in an emailed response said: “The decision to change the name of the building was taken after it was made Registered Office of the company and the offices situated in Delhi besides company secretariat were shifted to it including that of ONGC Videsh Ltd.”
“The decision was taken to honour the memory of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya jee who was a great philosopher,economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and political scientist (who) tirelessly worked for upliftment of poor people of India,” the emailed statement said. “Proponent of philosophy of integral humanism he not only welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements.”
Further, ONGC said, its Executive Committee headed by chairman and managing director Dinesh K Sarraf felt that “this year being the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhaya, it will be befitting tribute to the great visionary” and changed the name of the building.
“This decision arose out of common consensus amongst Executive Committee of ONGC and the change in address was duly communicated to BSE and NSE on October 14, 2016 with approval of ONGC board,” it said.
Originally, the building was to be built in four years at a cost of Rs 593.87 crore.
“The main contractor for construction of the building faced financial problems and went into Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) which led to delay and marginal cost overruns,” ONGC added.
It also said: “Dr Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhawan on August 20, 2007… the birth anniversary of late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, ex Prime Minister of India.”`