ONGC official C.N. Rao | Twitter
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New Delhi: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) officer C.N. Rao was awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously Thursday for averting a major disaster after a gas leak in the ONGC’s processing plant in Uran near Mumbai last year. He lost his life in the process along with three CISF personnel.

On 3 September 2019, Rao, who was the resident production superintendent at ONGC’s processing plant in Navi Mumbai’s Uran, went to inspect a pipeline after smelling gas.

He managed to close the main gas pipeline valve, but a blast occurred shortly after and the plant caught fire even as Rao and the others tried to find other leaks. Rao and the three CISF jawans died.

Rao had a degree in mechanical engineering and he joined the state-run ONGC in 1990. He lived in Kharghar with his wife and two sons.

After the accident, an ONGC official had said, “He was transferred to the Uran plant around two years ago. Many in ONGC remember him as a very helpful officer, besides being nice to everyone.”

The three deceased CISF personnel were Eranna Nayakka, Satish Prasad Kushwaha, and M K Paswan.

Also read: Major Hoshiyar Singh Dahiya — the first living officer to get a Param Vir Chakra

Shaurya Chakra awarded for valour and sacrifice

The Shaurya Chakra is a gallantry award presented by the Ministry of Defence to honour valour, courage or self-sacrifice. It is awarded to both civilians and military personnel, even posthumously. The Shaurya Chakra is the sixth highest peacetime gallantry award after the Param Vir Chakra, Ashoka Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Vir Chakra.

The Ministry of Defence invites recommendations twice a year from the armed forces and the Ministry of Home Affairs for the award, which is later approved by the President. Recommendations are usually invited in August for the awards to be announced on Republic Day and then again in March for the announcement on Independence Day.

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said the conferment of the Shaurya Chakra to Rao was a great honour to the sacrifice he made in the interest of the nation.

“The posthumous conferment of Shaurya Chakra to ONGC officer C N Rao is a great honour to the sacrifice that Shri Rao made in the larger national interest! Averting a major mishap, he saved the Uran plant & protected lives of others. His grit will serve as an inspiration for all,” tweeted Pradhan.

Also read: Modi govt likely to give up direct control of ONGC, IOC, GAIL, NTPC


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