Nirupam Sen: Action time
Calcutta, Feb. 2: The Bengal government has proposed to directly invite bids from developers for the deep-sea port in the state.
The multi-billion-dollar project is hanging fire over the appointment of a consultant. The state now wants to scrap the norm of selecting a consultant and prefers to directly seek bids from developers.
The port is critical for the states industrial development. We have lost two years. If the present method is followed, it will take a long time, state industry minister Nirupam Sen said.
Industrialists Sajjan Jindal and Venugopal Dhoot have expressed their desire to set up a deep-sea port here.
If bids are sought from developers, they may come up with different offers. We will choose one of them, Sen said.
Under the present norms, a consultant will be first appointed to conduct a detailed study and finalise a location.
The Centre will then invite bids from developers to build the port on the basis of the study made by the consultant.
However, there is no certainty that the developers will accept the recommendations of the consultant.
Many international consultants had even expressed interest in the project, but none put up a final bid as they did not like the terms of reference. The Centre wanted the consultants to bring in developers for the project and also involve them in the development of the port.
The ministry of shipping, the nodal body for the project, is now in talks with the consultants to change the terms of reference.
As the estuary of the Hooghly and the Bay of Bengal coastline falls under the Calcutta Port Trust, which is under the shipping ministry, the deep sea port project is being handled by the Centre now.