DCI Denies Mumbai Port’s Charges for Termination of Contract

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Posted May 3, 2018

The state-run Dredging Corporation of India Ltd (DCI) said it “has not violated any provisions of the contract” after the board of trustees of the Central government-owned Mumbai Port Trust scrapped a three-year deal for maintaining the port’s approach channel and other areas.

Stung by the termination, the Visakhapatnam-based company also said that its decision to de-mobilise (a technical term used to take away dredgers after completing work and the reason cited by the Mumbai Port Trust to scrap the deal) the dredgers on April 8 “cannot be considered a breach of contract as the work has been carried out to the satisfaction of Mumbai Port Trust”, a spokesman for DCI said in a statement to BusinessLine.

“DCI is not accepting the issues raised by Mumbai Port Trust for terminating the contract and the reasons cited for inviting fresh tenders for the leftover work at the risk and cost of DCI is not in line with the contractual terms and will be taken up with the appropriate forum for resolving the issue,” the Mumbai-listed company said, indicating the possibility of a legal challenge.

Additional dredging work

DCI deployed additional dredgers for carrying out maintenance dredging at the Mumbai Port Trust for 2017-18, the first year of the contract.

It also undertook additional dredging work at the offshore container terminal (OCT) area – a project of national importance — with the available limited window period and completed the additional dredging work also in spite of the Port Trust not releasing the payments for the work done, it said.

The required depths, according to DCI, have been achieved and the same can be ascertained from the joint surveys carried out by DCI and the Port Trust.

“DCI issued many letters and requested the Mumbai Port Trust to arrange clearance of berths for two days before closing of dredging assignment and the Port Trust provided the berths and DCI completed the dredging operations. DCI de-mobilized the dredgers on April 8 after duly informing the Port Trust and after obtaining the port clearance,” the firm said.

During earlier years, maintenance dredging at Mumbai Port was carried out using water injection dredgers which pushes material from the dredging area and show the depths temporarily.

“Whereas, this year, dredging has been carried out by DCI by deploying trailer suction hopper dredgers which will dredge the material, clear all the soft and hard material from the site and dispose it at a far-off place. The dredging has been done effectively this year and is the best-ever done at Mumbai port,” DCI said, adding that its “employees are united and striving hard for taking up and completing the projects”, dispelling the insinuation that they have turned negative after the privatisation process was kicked off by the Centre.

Source: The Hindu Business Line