West Bengal to start bidding process for deep-sea port

February 21st, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) The West Bengal government is all set to prepare a document for the interested developers to directly bid for its upcoming deep-sea port project. “At a meeting with Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary T.K. Nair, we have decided that the state government can now do the bidding process directly involving the developers in the deep-sea port project,” West Bengal Commerce and Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen told reporters here Thursday.

He said in the process the state would gain at least 2-3 years in getting the deep-sea port ready.

“We are interested in getting this deep-sea port in our state as early as possible. The procedure of appointing a consultancy firm by the central government has already been delayed and if we still wait for the same it will be too late for us,” he said.

Sen said that companies like Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Steel and V.G. Dhoot’s Videocon have already shown interest in the project.

“We are in hurry because the proposed chemical hub - Prafulla Chandra Roy Chemical Complex (PCRCC) - at the Nayachar islands in the state is on the cards. The port would facilitate the chemical hub immensely,” Sen said.

Earlier, the state government had approached the committee formed by the central government for the deep-sea port to skip the process of appointing consultants for the project and allow the state to directly invite bids from investors and developers.

A tender was also floated for consultants but no one responded to that. Though many consultancy firms picked up papers for expression of interest (EoI), final bids were not submitted, as the companies were not satisfied with the terms of reference.

The West Bengal government then approached the committee to entrust the state with the entire process of inviting bids and selection of developers.

Sen and West Bengal Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb attended the meeting with Nair in Delhi Wednesday.

Sen said Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi Feb 6 and discussed the project.

“While preparing the bidding document, we would consider all aspects ranging from the minimum number of terminals to be constructed to the total capacity for carrying bulk cargos from the port,” Sen said.

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