Staff Reporter

All agreements signed with the promoters to be made public soon

The involvement of Dubai Ports World in the Rs. 2,000-crore project has raised lot of dustA former Chief of Navy and a retired IAS officer have allegedly said that the company's involvement poses danger to ENC

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) -- a special purpose vehicle -- which signed a concession agreement with the State Government for operating the State's first private port on Saturday disclosed that Dubai Ports International (renamed later as Dubai Ports World) had opted out of the venture six months ago.

Replying to questions at the project site, 30 km from here, GPL assistant vice-president Bh. A. Rama Raju told mediapersons that Dubai Ports World had no equity in the project. The involvement of Dubai Ports World in the Rs. 2,000-crore project had raised lot of dust following the allegation by Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, former Chief of Navy and retired IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma, that its involvement would pose danger to the Eastern Naval Command.

They were quoted as saying that the involvement of Dubai Ports World would pose security threat as their bid to take over a port in the United States was turned down sometime ago on `security grounds.'

No threat

Mr. Rama Raju said there was no security threat due to a port coming up at Gangavaram under public-private partnership. The State has 11 per cent equity in the project in lieu of the land provided by it. He said the Dubai firm was, in fact, a partner in the Vizag Container Terminal -- which has developed two captive berths in the Visakhapatnam Port.

Agreements

He said the D.V.S. Raju consortium, the promoters of Gangavaram port, was keen on extending the benefits of the project to the local communities after financial closure done recently. "Hence, we don't want to pick up any confrontation with the local communities," he said.

Stating that due to `communication gap' there were certain misapprehensions on the agreements signed with the consortium on August 7, 2003 after short listing through global bidding, he said it would be made public soon.

"It's not a secret document. Copies of the document are available at Secretariat and other places. We will make all the agreements public," he stated.

Mr. Rama Raju also claimed that they had taken up work only after obtaining mandatory clearances from the Ministry of Defence, Department of Environment and Forest and AP Pollution Control Board. Mandate for the project was obtained through a public hearing held at the Collectorate, he added.