THE public sector Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) has for the first time become a stakeholder in a project in addition to doing the dredging operations for it. Since the DCI will be investing Rs.30 crores in the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP), its Chairman and Managing Director has been made a Director of Sethusamudram Corporation Limited (SCL), the special purpose vehicle that would execute the project.
The other stakeholders in SCL are the Union government, the Shipping Corporation of India, and the Port Trusts of Tuticorin, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Ennore.
Another major gain for the DCI is that it has been straightaway nominated to dredge one of the four segments of the SCCP. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for this has been signed with the Tuticorin Port Trust, which is the nodal agency for the SSCP.
`Dredge-12', the trailer suction hopper dredger of the DCI, is currently operating in the E3 to E4 segment of the Palk Strait. This segment is 13.57 kilometres long and involves a dredging of 12.56 million cubic metres. The total quantity to be dredged for the entire canal stretch of 167 km would be 82.30 million cu.m. The DCI is also trying to secure one more segment by competing with global bidders.
A monthly interim rate of Rs.4.50 crores will be paid to the DCI if it uses a 4,500-cu.m. capacity trailer suction dredger. If a 7,400-cu.m. capacity dredger is utilised, the rate will go up to Rs.7 crores. The final rate will, however, be known only after the international bidding process is complete.
DCI sources said that the dredged material would be dumped at a designated spot 30 km off the southern coast.