A non-government organisation (NGO) has sought a commercial audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to ascertain the revenue loss to the Kolkata Port from certain private contracts.
According to the NGO the National Forum For PeopleÂ’s Rights, the award of a service contract by the Kolkata Port Trust to cargo-handling company Ripley & Co was illegal.
The NGO filed a PIL against Kolkata Port Trust alleging that the port and the state government Â“showered blessings upon some private companies for carrying out operations at the Haldia Dock ComplexÂ”.
The NGO alleges that the state government and the port trust had acted Â“arbitrarilyÂ” in allowing Ripley and other private cargo-handling companies to negotiate directly with importers and exporters.
The petitioners stated in all the berths, excluding the second and the eighth (which were operated by ABG), Ripley was involved in shore-handling operations of about 10 million tonne of cargo, charging Rs 200 a tonne but sharing nothing with the port.
Ripley is not contractor of the port. They are just working with their muscle power and earning Rs 200 crore a year, the PIL alleged. In 2010, ABG had been selected to operate the berths at the Haldia Dock Complex.
The PIL has also sought an independent enquiry to find what led to the recent trouble at the Haldia Dock Complex and fix responsibility for it.