* Deal to cost Rs 18 crore
GUWAHATI: The stage is finally set for the procurement of a river dredger to carry out "corrective dredging" (removal of silt) of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries as well as other rivers in Assam with the Finance department already releasing Rs 12 crore as advance amount. This amount is now being kept in the safe custody of a bank.
Following this development, the Water Resources Department has asked the shortlisted USA company, Ellicott Dredges, to supply the preferred state-of-the art dredger by March 2021. The procurement will be done under the SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund).
Mentionably owing to various issues, the Water Resources department had failed to procure a 'river dredger' for more than two years now. The Revenue & Disaster Management Department had accorded the administrative approval to Rs 18 crore for the purpose way back during fiscal 2017-18.
In fact, though the Water Resources department had floated national tenders twice, it found no bidders. In response to its third attempt when the department opted to float a global tender, American company — Ellicott Dredges — expressed its interest. After observing the formalities, the department also issued the order to supply a river dredger at a cost of around Rs 18 crore.
However, the company did not supply the dredger earlier as it had not received the advance amount of Rs 12 crore as was agreed to between the department and the company.
As per the company's rules, it would start manufacturing of the dredger only after it receives a guarantee in the form of 'advance money' which is deposited by the proposed buyer in a bank account.
Sources informed that the advance amount of Rs 12 crore (presently kept in a bank) will be released to the USA company after the dredger reaches Assam and observance of various formalities. The remaining amount of the deal will be supplied subsequently with the approval of the Finance department.
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