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Former ONGC Chairman Col. S P Wahi is no more

Dated: 13 February 2017 10:42:18 AM

With deep regret we inform the sad demise of former ONGC Chairman Padma Bhushan Col. Satya Pal Wahi. Mr. Wahi breathed his last today Monday 13 February 2017 at 5:00AM, at his residence at Park Royal Villa No. 8 Ardee City, Gate No. 1, Sector- 52, Gurgaon.

Col Satya Pal Wahi was an Indian corporate executive, army personnel, technocrat, writer and a former chairman of public sector enterprises ONGC and Cement Corporation of India (CCI). He is a former Indian Army Colonel at the Corps of EME.

Mr. Wahi was born in Khushab, a small village near Lahore of the British India.  He graduated in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University. Subsequently, he joined the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and after completing his training in 1950, served at the Corps of EME of the Indian Army, retiring from military service holding the rank of a colonel.

Later, he served many corporate enterprises which included Bokaro Steel Plant (1969-74), Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) (1974-78), handling various portfolios, before joining Cement Corporation of India (CCI), a wholly owned company of the Government of India as its chairman. He is known to have turned the loss-making CCI into a profitable business enterprise and in 1981, he was appointed as the chairman of ONGC, the largest oil and gas exploration and production company in India.

His tenure at ONGC coincided with the development of Bombay High offshore oilfields and he is credited with contributions in raising India's oil output from 9 million tonnes to 32 million tonnes per annum. His efforts are also reported behind the modernization of the organization by the introduction of computerization and modern office facilities and the establishment of a training center for the organization. 

There were a number of occasions where Col. Wahi's charismatic leadership was hailed all across. One such incident was his deft handling of the Blow Out in the offshore drilling rig Sagar Vikas. His professional stewardship in the case not only handled the blow-out effectively, but ONGC was praised all over the media for the courageous act of the Oil Soldiers of India - 'The quiet confidence of India's Oil men in handling the crisis'. A more significant victory, perhaps, was the confidence that grew in the cadres of ONGC after this incident.

After his stint at ONGC, he was associated with Bharat Ophthalmic Glass Limited and served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Public Enterprises (SCOPE).

A recipient of the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from three Indian universities, Wahi has also received honors such as Petrotech Lifetime Achievement Award, Indian Geophysical Union Silver jubilee Award and Giants international Award. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honor of the Padma Bhushan, in 1988, for his iconic contributions to society.

The mortal remains of Col. Wahi will be cremated at Dayanand Muktidham Cremation Ground, Lodhi Road, New Delhi at 2 pm on 14 February 2017.