March 24, 2021 3:03:28 am
THE STATE government Tuesday told the Legislative Assembly five complaints have been received over lack of regular dredging for the Dahej-Ghogha Ro-Ro ferry service in the last two years and fines have been imposed on Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) and Ms Dharti Dredging and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd in this regard.
In a written reply to Congress MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh’s question during the Question Hour on the amount spent on dredging for the Dahej-Ghogha ferry service during the last two years, the government stated in Rs 30.85 crore was spent on dredging in 2019 and Rs 7.80 crore was spent in 2020.
In response to supplementary questions asked by the Congress MLA, the government said that five complaints had been received against the contractors, who were given the task of dredging during this two-year period. When asked what steps have been taken against the erring firms, the government stated Rs 85 lakh was recovered from maintenance dredging contractor, APSEZ, in fine for failing to finish the work on time. In addition, the government also suspended the last payment of Rs 20.67 crore since January 2020, it said. The government stated that a committee has also been formed to look into the payment issue.
Apart from APSEZ, the government has confiscated the performance bank guarantee and retention bank guarantee, worth Rs 27.75 crore, from capital dredging contractor, Dharti Dredging and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.
The Hyderabad-based Dharti Dredging was given a capital dredging contract of Rs 192 crore plus taxes, while APSEZ had a contract of Rs 46.06 crore plus taxes. In addition to these two firms, M/s Divine Shipping Service was given a pontoon dredging contract of Rs 37 lakh plus taxes.
The Indian Express had earlier reported the Ghogha-Dahej ferry service has been suspended since March 2020 due to issues related to dredging. The ferry operator had complained multiple times about the lack of depth to operate the vessel.
In November last year, the government launched the Ghogha-Hazira ferry service where the ferry operator from the Ghogha-Dahej route was roped in.