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Assam government okays ONGC's Rs 7,800-crore investment plan

The Economic Times :  October, 2013

New Delhi: The Assam government has agreed to grant forest clearances that were holding up a major investment by state-run oil explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) that was championed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a measure to revive the hydrocarbons industry in the state he represents at the Rajya Sabha.

ONGC, which has several oil fields, a refinery and extensive pipelines across the state, had embarked on an ambitious 7,800-crore investment plan to rejuvenate its operations with fresh technology and infrastructure in 2008. The project also involved replacing its existing pipelines and laying fresh pipelines over 467.80 kilometres.

ONGC, which had sought the state government's permission for forest clearances in 2009, including for a 1.6 kilometre stretch in the Lakhwa strech where the new pipelines were to pass through. This involved a 2,400-crore investment under the overall renewal plan.

"ONGC had sought the Cabinet Committee on Investment's help for expediting this project, following which the state has granted the green clearance," said a senior government official aware of the development.

An ONGC spokesperson confirmed the development.