SDMA still all at sea on removing Princess
07 Sep 2010 12:00am IST
PANJIM, SEPT 6 Indecision about whom to award the contract to remove M V River Princess continues as the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) even today failed to arrive at any conclusion as Salgaocar Mining Industries Pvt Ltd , (SIMPL) baffled SDMA submitting that "it is now willing to remove the grounded vessel without acquiring its ownership."
PANJIM, SEPT 6
Indecision about whom to award the contract to remove M V River Princess continues as the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) even today failed to arrive at any conclusion as Salgaocar Mining Industries Pvt Ltd , (SIMPL) baffled SDMA submitting that “it is now willing to remove the grounded vessel without acquiring its ownership.”
Though no decision was taken at today ‘s meeting which met under Chief Minister Digambar Kamat who is also the chairman of SDMA , it was decided to submit proposals of all three bidders — Titan Salvage, Madgaokar Salvage and SMIPL to the High Court on Wednesday when it will hear a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to removal of the vessel.
The SIMPL had earlier promised to remove the vessel for free of cost but subject to condition that it is given ownership of the vessel which was outright rejected by the government.
Making a complete U turn Chairman of SIMPL Anil Salgaocar today submitted before SDMA that the company now wants to remove the vessels without having ownership, said a government official who was part of the meeting.
The SMIPL has given a proposal to remove the vessel within 220 days (40 days for mobilisation of the resources and 180 days for actual work) coupled with a performance guarantee of Rs 1 crore.
However, Salgaocar declined to extend the performance guarantee pointing out that he is offering to remove the vessel for free whereas the government would be spending Rs 125 crore if the contract is awarded to M/s Titan Salvage.
He was asked to extend performance guarantee in view of higher performance guarantee offered by Titan Salvage, said the officer.
While the fate of River Princess hangs lose Calangute legislator , Agnelo Fernandes came down heavily on the government for delaying the decision and considering SMIPL.
The officer said Fernandes has opposed the proposal of SMIPL.
Speaking to Herald post meeting, Fernandes said “Nobody wants to take the decision. It was even suggested that we vote because of indecision. “
Fernandes said the tender of SMIPL was earlier rejected because it was felt that it did not have technical knowhow to remove the vessel.
He said, SMIPL wants to first inspect the vessel and it is not possible until October next year — by the time
inspection is conducted it will be end of the month. Then it needs 40 days to gather resources, he said , raising question about the real intention of SMIPL in wanting to remove the vessel. “It is a big conspiracy, “ he said.
When asked to explain what way Salgaocar benefits by this delay, Fernandes said “Probably he desires that the vessel break into pieces on its own and nobody chases him. “
The government officer though admitted that there are apprehensions about SMIPL’s interest in removing vessel, “The fact that Salgaocar has offered to remove it for free cannot be ignored.” he said indicating that if the job is done for free they are saving public money.”
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