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BPCL-Kochi Refinery expansion site declared strike free zone

BPCL-Kochi Refinery expansion site declared strike free zone

Kochi: The Rs 20,000 crore BPCL-Kochi Refinery expansion project site at Ambalamugal near here has been declared a 'strike-free zone' with a view to completing the project within the scheduled 42 months.

A decision to this effect was taken at a conciliatory meeting of stakeholders of the project, including prominent trade unions, company management, contractors association convened by the Centre and state government here Saturday.

"A broad consensus has been reached that no labour problem would affect the progress of the project and work site has been declared a agitation free zone," Union Minister of State for Labour Kodikkunnil Suresh told reporters yesterday after the meeting.

A three-tier system had been established to resolve labour disputes without disrupting the works, he said.

Another important decision was that besides strike, local 'hartals' also would not affect work of the project, he said, adding, trade union leaders had offered full cooperation and support to complete the project on time.

Trade union leaders, representatives of works contractors and BPCL-Kochi refinery management had discussions on issues that crop up usually on work sites of mammoth scale and decided to resolve all disputes without delay so that works on the Rs 20,000-crore project were not affected, he said.

The project site would be a 24x7 working hours in three shifts and at any given time, there would be at least 20,000 workers at the site. "This is the first time that such a big magnitude of work has been undertaken in the state," he said.

To address any labour probem if it crops up, a regional joint labour commissioner would be posted at the works site. If the disputes could not be resolved on the site, the issue would be taken up at the regional labour commissioner's office and, if needed, the state government would intervene.

The Prime Minister's Office had taken special interest in the project and that it would be monitored closely with review meetings every three months, he said.

State's Labour Minister Shibu Baby John said the labour union leaders had agreed that no regional hartal and strikes would affect the works at the BPCL-KRL site.

The Integrated Refinery Expansion Project envisages enhancement of refining capacity of BPCL-KOCHI Refinery from existing 9.5 million tones per annum to 15.5 MMTPA. Besides IREP with a total outlay of Rs 14,225 crore, BPCL has proposed to venture into petrochemical at a cost of Rs 6000 crore for production of petrochemicals from propylene supplied by the refinery.


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