THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Three of the five firms that were shortlisted for the Vizhinjam seaport project have purchased the price bid documents for participating in the tenders, even as the State Government has extended the deadline for submitting the financial bids to September 10.
ESSAR Ports, a consortium consisting of Srei Infrastructure and OHL and Adani Ports and SEZ are the three firms that have purchased the price bid documents so far. The remaining two firms - Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd and the consortium of Hyundai and Concast Infratech Ltd - have not purchased them so far. Recently, the State Government and its port firm Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) had decided to extend the deadline for submitting the financial bids upto September 10. The earlier deadline was August 20. According to VISL officials, the date was changed on the request of the three firms that had purchased the bid documents. ‘’Three firms have purchased the documents, two of the firms have not bought them yet,’’ Ports Minister K Babu said. The price bid documents cost Rs 8 lakh. The government had short-listed all five firms in March this year on the recommendation of a committee headed by the Chief Secretary. The State Government VISL has completed their side of the work, according to VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu. ‘’We have only a few concerns before us now and the case before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the bidding process being two of them,’’ he said.
The NGT, principal Bench, is set to hear the petitions filed by two groups from Thiruvananthapuram against the project on August 21. In one of the complaints, the petitioner has challenged the CRZ notification itself. On August 8, the Empowered Institution under the Union Finance Ministry had recommended Central assistance for the project under Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme.
On Saturday, Chief Minister had announced the state’s readiness to cooperate with the Centre in all matters related to the implementation of the project.