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Dredging seminar in Mumbai on Oct 7

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A DCI dredger at work in Visakhapatnam.

Visakhapatnam , Oct. 3

THE Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), with its headquarters here, is holding a one-day technical seminar on October 7 in Mumbai at Hotel Oberoi and it is being organised in accordance with the memorandum of understanding reached between the Union Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works of the Government of Flanders, Belgium, according to Mr N.K. Guptha, the Chairman and Managing Director.

He told reporters here that the Dredging Seminar-2003 would be inaugurated by Mr Dilip Manushuklal Gandhi, the Minister of State for Shipping, and Mr D.T. Joseph, the Secretary, the Ministry of Shipping, would preside over it. It would be used to showcase the achievements of the DCI as well as to explore the possibilities of taking up ventures abroad. Several delegates from abroad would also participate in it, he said.

Mr Guptha said that the DCI could manage to hold on to 87 per cent of the market share in maintenance dredging though the sector had been opened up to the private sector and even in capital dredging it was going all out to improve its market share which presently stood at 20 per cent. He said no foreign company was presently engaged in maintenance dredging in any of the major ports in the country. To face the competition from the private sector, the DCI was acquiring two more dredgers — a cutter suction dredger and a new shallow draft trailer suction dredger of 5000 Cum. hopper capacity — at a total cost of Rs 230 crore or so. It had been provided for in the Tenth Plan, he added.

Mr Guptha said the corporation had taken up a venture in Taiwan and, even though it had incurred a loss, it was a good learning experience. He said the DCI would take up more ventures in future. However, the DCI's attempts to appoint marketing agents abroad had not met with success. Further, dredging work was in progress at Marmugao port, Kandla and Paradip. Capital dredging at an oil jetty of Paradip port was also in progress.

He said another round of VRS was in the offing in the corporation, but not many employees may opt for it. He said the Government wanted to dilute 20 per cent of its 98.2 per cent stake in the corporation and the IPO may hit market early next year, the issue size being Rs 200-250 crore. The modalities, however, would have to be worked out yet.

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