STATE DECIDES TO OPEN DIALOGUE WITH RPHM

PANJIM: With the Salgaonkar Mining Industry Private Limited refusing to accept the government condition of providing Rs 10 crore bank guarantee, sought before awarding the contract for removal of River Princess, the state authorities have decided to open dialogue with the other bidder, the River Princess Hatao Manch (RPHM).
The decision to begin the dialogue with RPHM, based at Candolim, where the vessel has been lying grounded for more than 10 years, was taken at a meeting attended by the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat, the Chief Secretary, Mr Sanjay Kumar Shrivastava, with the advocate general, Mr Subodh Kantak.
With the government deciding to open dialogue with the RPHM, whose authorities have agreed to the stiff conditions laid down by the government for removal of the vessel including Rs 10 crore, the indications have emerged that SMIPL was virtually out of contention for award of contract.
The sources in the state administration said that the authorities would hold discussion with the office bearers of the RPHM with regards to plan of action for removal of vessel, whether they have tie-up with any professional agency, etc before arriving at a decision.
The Bombay High court has recently in its order directed the government to award contract for removal of the vessel within two months and ensure that it was removed before the onset of monsoon. (NT)

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