India’s energy companies are beefing up security across their facilities following the serial blasts that hit two cities within the past three days, killing scores of people. Companies undertaking such an exercise include Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), NTPC Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel), Reliance Industries Ltd, Essar Oil Ltd and Shell India Pvt. Ltd.
“We have become extremely vigilant. We are going for extra security arrangements and I have asked my head of security to firm up new security plans,” said Radhey Shyam Sharma, chairman and managing director (CMD) of ONGC.
High alert: A policeman inspects a car outside the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Monday. Energy companies say they are stepping up security at their key facilities following the serial blasts.
“We have ordered strict implementation of access-control measures, including banning the entry of vehicles in the operational area, random frisking of employees and 100% checking of contractual labour,” said B.C. Nayak, ONGC’s executive director of security.
The company has already installed a vessel and air traffic management system at all its offshore platforms in November last year. “If any vessel or aircraft deviates from its normal route, we can detect it and inform the coast guard, navy and air force to take pre-emptive action,” Nayak said.
“All our installations are safeguarded against such attacks and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is deployed at all our installations,” said Ram Sharan Sharma, NTPC’s CMD.
K. Ravi Kumar, CMD of Bhel, said, “Personnel from CISF and the Central Reserve Police Force are deployed across our facilities and sites. Our threat perception are only at sites due to the involvement of contractual labour. Our manufacturing units are foolproof.”
While Reliance refused to comment, Essar in an email response said, “We have adequate security measures in place at all our ports, terminals, refinery and steel plants.”
“As per global norms, our normal procedures and standards are stringent and to ensure that they remain cutting edge, we regularly test safety and security measures at all our sites ,which includes our Hazira LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal, which is a joint venture with Total. We work closely with local administrations and police authorities to ensure on-site safety of property and people,” a Shell India spokesperson said by email.