The country's largest PSU - Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is planning to shift focus on alternate energy sources like hydrogen fuels and solar energy with the launch of a state-of the art R&D facility at New Delhi next week.
Called the Rajiv Gandhi Urja Bhawan, the center located at Vasant Kunj would have a built-up area of nearly 48,000 square metres and would be the country's largest environment-friendly building.
Built on a plot valued at Rs 260 crores and at the cost of Rs 490 crores, the building would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on August 20 to mark Rajiv Gandi's birth anniversary.
"We are focusing on becoming India's best research center on alternate sources of energy and energy saving devices and this building would provide the best facilities available for R&D," said RS Sharma, CMD, ONGC in Dehradun on Tuesday.
He informed that the best energy saving facilities including least possible consumption of water and lots of natural light would be put into use in the five-storey building with two level basements.
On its part, ONGC would be contributing Rs 500 crores from its funds for R&D purpose. "Hydrocarbons like oil and gas are not sufficient to meet the energy needs of the country. Hence the need for focusing in alternate sources," said Sharma.
Denying the possibility of the shifting of ONGC's corporate headquarters from Dehradun in the immediate future, he termed such reports as propaganda by few persons with vested interests.
"ONGC has its roots in this city and we have strong sentimental attachments with Dehradun. Instead of leaving, we are expanding several operations including building a Rs 260 crore environment-friendly building," said Sharma.
He informed that several important establishments of the company like Institute of Drilling Technology and ONGC Academy are still located in Dehradun and nearly 2,700 of its total employee strength of 33,500 are based in the Uttarakhand capital.
Sharma, however, admitted that some operations including nearly a dozen senior officials dealing with high-value procurements had to be shifted to New Delhi to overcome logistical and operational problems.
"From a small entity in the 1950s, today we have become the biggest PSU in India and therefore operating all our business from Dehradun has become practically impossible. But all our core functions are still based here," he said.