Jaisu Shipping cries foul over Kochi Port's show cause notice

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Dredging in progress for the International Container Transhipment Terminal, in Kochi. File Photo: H. Vibhu

The dredging contractor Jaisu Shipping has questioned the issue of show cause notice issued by the Kochi Port for non completion of capital dredging work for ICTT, Vallarpadam at a time when the company has been given extension till May 15 to complete the work.

Mr Sujay Kewalramani, Director, Jaisu Shipping, told Business Line that the Shipping Ministry, during a meeting held on March 28, had extended the date of contract period up to May 15 and any further course of action beyond the period would be taken by the port based on the performance of the company.

During the meeting, the Ministry had also chalked out an action plan to complete the work, he said.

He clarified that the company has not abandoned the contract and it was the port management which issued the notice to terminate the work.

The Attorney General has also said that the contractor cannot be penalised for not completing the remaining work in the ICTT berth basin since the entire work area was not awarded to them until May 1, 2010. The Attorney General's view was sought by the port management for granting extension to Jaisu for completing the capital dredging, he added.

According to Mr Kewalramani, the company has already completed 96 per cent of the work and this information has been placed on the Web site of the port.

The Web site also says that the delay in starting the work was due to the delayed completion of berth dredging by the terminal operator DP World. Besides, the dredging company has only been paid for 65 per cent of its completed works, he said.

Jaisu, he said, has already achieved deemed completion in the inner and outer channel as on April 30, 2010 and the dredging was in progress to achieve the depth in ICTT berth basin.

However, the delay in completion of work in the berth basin was due to various obstacles encountered during the work that resulted in the damage of dredgers coupled with heavy siltation due to excess rainfall last year.

According to the tender requirement, the company has to provide 14,000 cubic metre capacity dredgers and it had already deployed a total capacity of 30,748 cubic metres.

Referring to the show cause notice, he said the management has to follow certain procedures under the clause of the contract agreement to provide a remedy within stipulated and reasonable time. However, the management has violated the clauses and went ahead with the termination of the contract, he alleged.

To a question on the interception of dredger by the Coast Guard, he said the company has taken back the dredger to the port area as requested by the Coast Guard.

This particular vessel was taken to Kandla for drydocking, he added.

He pointed out that the capital and maintenance dredging was awarded to Jaisu at a cost of Rs 525.5 crore after the company gave a discount of Rs 23.5 crore on the original offer of Rs 549 crore to make the Vallarpadam project viable.

The port has effectively saved Rs 279.5 crore by awarding the project to Jaisu as the next highest bid was from an international dredging firm was at Rs 805 crore.

Published on April 11, 2011

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