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Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) extended the deadline to May 17 for submitting bids for the Dock-II project at Salukhali, close to the existing dock.
It may be noted that the port management invited the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project earlier. After the pullout of India-French joint venture Haldia Bulk Terminal (HBT) from Haldia, KoPT had failed to get any private player to build the planned Salukhali Dock.
There are five firms, which have shown interest and two out of them are really serious about this, RPS Kahlon, Chairman of the port said. He was addressing a seminar organized by the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Although KoPT had earlier claimed that many private players were keen to participate, the tender seeking an interested private player for the project has seen no response. The project would have added 23.4 mn t capacity.
Meanwhile, Kahlon said the centre's move to phase out dredging subsidy could impact the efficiency of the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) under the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) and cargo handled could dip to 30 million tonne (mn t) per annum mark by 2020.
Doing away with the dredging subsidy might impact the cargo handling ability. The port has been hearing about this, but the ministry has not given this in writing, Kahlon said.
Kahlon said, there is thinking at the Planning Commission-level and Cabinet level and they are considering whether to continue with this subsidy.