Maharashtra PAC slams maritime board for flouting rules while awarding bids for building of ships
The committee said the developers did not comply with the conditions, including those related to environment clearances.mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 00:15 IST
The public accounts committee (PAC) rapped the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) for irregularities in allotting land on lease to eight developers for ship building and maintenance without following the due procedure and not taking any action against illegal ship building.
The committee said the developers did not comply with the conditions, including those related to environment clearances. It said the destruction of mangroves by the developers was uncalled for and action should have been taken against them. In another case of allotment for port development projects, the MMB did not follow the due process, the PAC said.
The projects could not be completed owing to various reasons, including incompetence of developers. The MMB should not restrict itself to collecting lease rent or the charges, but should actively participate in development of ports by facilitating the permissions and approvals, it noted.
While conducting the hearing in the strictures passed by the Comptroller and Accountant General in its report in 2011-12, the PAC scrutinised the action taken by the MMB. “The development work was allotted to the company which did not participate in the bidding or was blacklisted earlier. The process of the allotment was completed illegally and was mired in irregularities,” it stated.
The report slammed the MMB for its failure to recover the cost incurred on dredging of silt from the creek during the inauguration of the pagoda at Gorai by the then President of India in February 2009. The report says the MMB took up the responsibility of dredging to ensure safety of the President, but failed to recover the cost from the company which owns the project. The MMB even did not demand the cost of Rs1.35 crore from the operator until CAG passed the strictures. It has also questioned why the private operator had requested the MMB for dredging in 2006, when the President’s visit happened in 2009.
The report has also questioned the purchase of speed boats for patrolling of the coastal area, despite the fact that the existing boats of 225 horse power were not utilized by the authority.