03 April 2013

Shipbreaking in India: 'Make Arihant accountable'

PANAJI: While the government is yet to decide the fate of ArihantShipbreakers, Madgavkar Salvage has written to the government to take action against the Mumbai-based ship breaking company for making false claims.

It has demanded that fresh tenders be floated for removing the balance wreckage lying on the seabed off Candolim beach instead of engaging the same company that it alleges tried to cheat the government.

The tourism department has called for a meeting of its monitoring committee on April 5 to decide about the methodology to be adopted for removing the buried wreck below the sand.

Arihant Shipbreakers has also submitted to the government its action plan to remove the balance wreckage after it was brought to its notice- following National institute of oceanography's (NIO) under water survey that some portion of the ship embedded in the sea was not removed.

The NIO's under water survey revealed that a portion of ship of dimension 180mx40M was still lying on the seabed. In May last year, Arihant Shipbreakers had submitted to the government it had completed the job.

The letter of Anand Madgavkar will also be placed before the monitoring committee when it meets on April 5.

Anand Madgavkar of Madgavkar Salvage, when contacted told TOI, that in the first place, the company bluffed that it had fully removed the entire wreckage when actually 8,000-9,000 tonnage of wreck was still lying on the seabed.

Madgavkar Salvage at least on two counts participated in bids in the past when tenders were floated for removing the vessel.

Madgavkar said the shipbreaking company only removed the top portion whereas the most difficult part is yet to be removed.

"The government should initiate criminal proceedings against the company," he said. The monitoring committee will also decide on the issue of bank guarantee. The contractor was twice told to renew the bank guarantee of 10 crore, but it has declined to do so claiming that their bankers have advised them to obtain customs clearance and environmental clearance for renewal of the bank guarantee. The contract was to remove the vessel within 180 fair weather days at 99 crore on 'no cure no pay' basis.

Source: times of india. 29 March 2013

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