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SDMA still all at sea on removing Princess

07 Sep 2010 12:00am IST
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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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