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Throwback Thursday: Construction Of The GAIL Headquarters

From time to time, it is an interesting exercise to go back in the past and look at how the present grew from a single idea. Throwback Thursday, a global hashtag is an exercise on the same line. People and brands revisit the past every Thursday, sharing vintage pictures and anecdotes.

As the youngest Maharatna, our history takes place in the 80’s as India was stepping in the computer age. Those early years are documented by our internal publication – GAIL news.


The initial issues of GAIL news offer great insights into the organisation and the early steps that led us to where we are today in this brief span of time.

One such insight is an interesting article on the construction of our headquarters at Bhikhaji Cama Place in New Delhi (next to Hotel Hyatt Regency).  The building is on a plot measuring 1377.18 sq. meters, which was purchased from DDA.

This impressive structure has 2 basements plus eight floors including lower and upper ground floors with a total plinth area of 12,069 sq. meters (1.30 lakh sq. ft.).

In 1989, the work for our corporate building was fast progressing, with approvals of the ministry of Urban Development in place. The pre-construction activities in terms of purchase of a plot of land at suitable location, appointment of architectural consultants and preparation of building plans including approval of the plans from the concerned authorities, invitation of tenders for the construction of the building and award of work, etc. were completed in a record time of about five months.

The possession of the plot was handed over by DDA to GAIL on December 12, 1988 and the foundation stone of the new Corporate Office building was laid by the then chairman Shri. Vineet Nayyar on January 9, 1989.

Exhibiting a vision for the future workplace the new building was built to include central Air-conditioning and ventilation system; The construction followed a tight completion schedule of eighteen months.

Further, employees Were invited to visit the sight and offer suggestions towards a model office building.

some pictures during the construction :



gail_FROM-THE-VAULT_01It surely is something to revisit the past. Stay tuned for more #ThrowbackThursday posts.


The successes of the talented Shri H S Cheema, shaping the Oil and Gas Industry of India

Shri H S Cheema has been known for accomplishing many great things for the Oil and Gas Sector in India. During his tenure at GAIL as the first ever chairmen, Shri Cheema was heralded for setting up and maintaining the first pipeline in northern India, known as the Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline. The pipeline created a vital link for transportation of natural gas between the distribution center and the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Shri H S Cheema was born on the 2nd of May 1931, completed his bachelors of engineering from Poona, mechanical engineering from the Royal Technical College, Glasgow and then in 1983 he become a fellow at the Institute of Engineers in India. Armed with an advanced and diverse education, he went on to hold prestigious positions with various organizations such as ONGC, Oil India Limited, Asian Development Bank, Engineers India Limited and Gas Authority of India. Shri Cheema made many in-roads towards developing the oil and gas sector in India. He was responsible for all the oil, LPG and gas productions on behalf of ONGC during the years of 1986 – 1989. A notable achievement is that he was credited with raising the oil production from 27 MMT per year to 34 MMT per year in 1989. A few other achievements are;

·      Responsible for major drilling operations in the east coast of India

·      Record time to complete a pipeline project between Uran to Trombay Butcher island ( 18 months)

·      Planning and design of the super tanker oil terminal and dry dock at Cochin port

·      Construction of the worlds largest oil terminal at Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

·      Publications of many books and journals

To know more about Shri Cheema, click here.


GAIL Partners With The Film Heritage Foundation

The Film Heritage Foundation was set up by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur in 2014 with the objective to preserve India’s rich film history? Since its inception the foundation has launched education initiatives with the aim of teaching the public the tools to preserve film, to create film history awareness and much more. GAIL has proudly partnered with the Film Preservation and Restoration School India for their event (FPRSI2015) that took place from 22nd to 28th Feb.
For more information, visit:


Natural Gas : A multipurpose resource

For hundreds of years, natural gas has been known as a very useful substance. The Chinese discovered a very long time ago that the energy in natural gas could be harnessed, and used to heat water. In the early days of the natural gas industry, the gas was mainly used to light streetlamps, and the occasional house. However, with much improved distribution channels and technological advancements, natural gas is being used in ways never thought possible.

There are so many different applications for this fossil fuel that it is hard to provide an exhaustive list of everything it is used for. And no doubt, new uses are being discovered all the time. Natural gas has many applications, commercially, in your home, in industry, and even in the transportation sector! While the uses described here are not exhaustive, they may help to show just how many things natural gas can do.

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Baku Ateshgah ”Fire Temple”

The Baku Ateshgah or “Fire Temple” is an ancient Hindu castle-like religious temple dedicated to Jwala Ji in Surakhani, a suburb of greater Baku, Azerbaijan, which was initially recognized as a Zoroastrian fire worship place. The pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillar-altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned after 1883 when oil and gas plants were established in the vicinity, ending the flow of natural gas to the temple and extinguishing the holy fire.

The Baku Ateshgah was a pilgrimage and philosophical centers of fire worshipers from Multan (now located in Pakistan), who were involved in trade with the Caspian area via the famous “Grand Trunk Road”. The four holy elements of their belief were: ateshi (fire), badi (air), abi (water), and heki (earth). The temple ceased to be worshiped after 1883 with the installation of petroleum plants (industry) at Surakhany. The complex was turned into a museum in 1975. The annual number of visitors to the museum is 15,000.

The Temple of Fire “Ateshgah” was nominated for List of World Heritage Sites, UNESCO in 1998 by Gulnara Mehmandarova.
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Digboi (1889)- A landmark event

You would get a colonial hangover in Digboi, the oldest ‘Oil City’ of India in Assam, located in the far eastern corner of our country’s Northeast. The huge British bungalows scattered on hillocks, the small pretty church, war cemetery dating from the World War II, the historical Stillwell road at Ledo, oldest oil refinery in the country and an expansive golf course would transport you back in the days of the ‘Raj’. Even if the time machine is a figment of imagination, those who have history fixation and wish to get a glimpse of the British era would love the Digboi experience, albeit with all modern comforts.

Digboi is most famous for its oil refinery that is considered to be one of the oldest oil refineries in the world that is still operational. The history of oil, Digboi and the town’s nomenclature dates back to 1869 and has an interesting story. As some of the men from Assam Railway and Trading Company found traces of oil on elephant’s feet and followed the pachyderms and discovered oil seeping from the earth’s surface. People love to say that a Canadian Engineer (W L Lake) was so excited to see elephants coming from dense forest with oil stains on their feet that he shouted to his workers, “Dig boy, dig” — hence the name Digboi. The British established a small oil installation in 1889, formed Assam Oil Company in 1889 and a refinery in 1901. India’s first oil refinery at Digboi is now a part of Indian Oil Corporation and is known as Assam Oil Division.

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