Assam: Dharmendra Pradhan rolls out slew of projects worth over 1,524 crore

PTI
Guwahati, Assam, India Published: Mar 02, 2019, 08.01 AM(IST)

File photo: Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Photograph:( ANI )

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Pradhan also slammed the erstwhile Congress government, both at Centre and state, for "not doing" anything for developing the North East despite Assam electing the UPA Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for two terms.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan Friday rolled out a slew of projects worth over Rs 1,500 crore across Assam and said the Centre plans to make the state a hub of oil trade in Southeast Asia.

Pradhan also slammed the erstwhile Congress government, both at Centre and state, for "not doing" anything for developing the North East despite Assam electing the UPA Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for two terms.

"All petroleum products from the North East to Bangladesh, Bhutan and other Southeast Asian countries will go via Assam. We will make Assam a centre of world oil trading in this region," the Union Petroleum minister said.

Pradhan dedicated a number of completed projects, worth Rs 1,524 crore, to the nation.

Pradhan also announced the commencement of work of the KD Malaviya National Oil Museum at Guwahati, to be set up at an investment of Rs 104 crore over the next five-and-a-half years.

The museum will showcase the rich history and heritage of the petroleum industry in India.

It will have five galleries and a 3D theatre among others.

"Assam was always neglected in earlier years. It lagged behind during the earlier government's time. They were only giving lectures but worked less. Manmohan Singh, who was elected from Assam, had planned the ONGC's hospital, but he left it there only and did nothing," Pradhan alleged.

He claimed that initiatives were taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to expedite the work of the Rs 316 crore 300-bed hospital, the first phase of which was opened with 50 beds.

To fulfil the targets of the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, all PSU oil firms such as ONGC, IOC, BPCL, NRL, OIL and GAIL are making huge investments in the region.

"In Bongaigaon refinery, we have invested Rs 2,500 crore. When we will make BS-VI norm, then there will be an additional investment of Rs 1,200 crore. For the bamboo-ethanol fuel project, Rs 1,259 crore is being invested," Pradhan said.

In addition, Rs 9,225 crore is being invested for the 1,650 km gas grid project by the PSU firms, connecting all the eight Northeastern states, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, ONGC Chairman and MD Shashi Shanker said the company will invest Rs 1,300 crore in Assam in the next five years, 30 per cent more than what the oil giant had invested in the last five years.

"For the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, major development and revamp is going in Assam. It will incur an investment of Rs 2,350 crore. Further, projects worth Rs 800 crore are at different stages of implementation," he added. 

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