Having been advised by independent legal experts that there were anomalies in the tender process floated for removal of ill-fated vessel, MV River Princess.
PANAJI: Having been advised by independent legal experts that there were anomalies in the tender process floated for removal of ill-fated vessel, MV River Princess, the state authorities have initiated steps for winding up the process for award of contract to any of the bidders and decision is likely to be taken by Monday.
The government is likely to issue fresh tenders for removal of the ship by cutting, the ninth since the ship was grounded in June 2000, incorporating the rules laid down by the Central Vigilance Commission, as early as possible. The whole issue is likely to be placed before the Bombay High Court which is hearing a case relating to the removal of the vessel.
According to highly placed sources in the state administration, it has been brought to the notice of the government that the director of tourism is the competent authority and custodian of the vessel as per the Tourist Trade Act but the whole process for the tender was initiated by the State Disaster Management Authority, under Disaster Management Act. This could lead to problems in future, as per the legal opinion.
The government has also been told that the tendering process and the conditions laid there-in were not as per the CVC guidelines (especially in cases wherein the amount of tender was more than Rs 10 crore) and if the government has to go ahead with the process and award the contract to any of the bidder, it could encounter litigation in future.
The government had disallowed some of the tenders because the bidders had not followed the conditions, though the process itself was faulty, the legal expert has said adding that this could invite trouble for the government.
Key conditions like no-cure-no-pay, performance guarantee, etc were not included in the tender documents and the ambiguity left there-in was subject to challenge by others in the fray, said the sources adding that Titan Shipping one of the short-listed firm had quoted the amount for execution of work in man hours and its bid was silent on the disposal of the scarp, the onus of which lies with the government.