Kolkata: Marking a new beginning in promoting coastal cargo, the Kidderpore Dock of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has began cargo handling.The vessel, MCP London, made its maiden coastal voyage from Katupally to Kidderpore. Dock carrying glass, cement and other cargo. It is after a gap of 10 years that the Kolkata Port Trust has been able to utilise Kidderpore Dock for handling containers, after undertaking thorough renovation of it. The vessel call was first at Krishnapattanam and Katupally where it loaded 50 TEUS of construction related material in containers. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt started its return voyage from Kidderpore Dock on Friday with 116 TEUs of containers belonging to mainline operators. It will reach Kolkata on July 14 with more cargoes. The frequency of service will be seven days for a round trip. The vessel has the capacity to carry 300 containers. KoPT has plans to ship cars through Kidderpore Dock. The KPD’s modernisation has entailed an investment to the tune of Rs 5.5 crore. A reefer point was also put in place to accommodate refrigerated cargo. A senior official of KoPT said that coastal shipping is not only environment friendly but economical in comparison to movement of cargo by road. It may be mentioned here manufacturers have already started sending vehicles to Bangladesh from Kolkata on Ro-Ro vessels to avoid traffic congestion.
Making reference to the Auditor General’s pronouncement that missing financial records were stalling a special audit into the controversial Durban Park project, Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo posited that it is ironic that the APNU/AFC Administration has missing records pertaining to the Durban Park Project, when documents for the former Administration can be readily accessed.Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo“It tells you a pattern…[They expended] $1.4B but we can’t find the details of this bidding process that was concluded two years ago, yet they found elements of the bid that was done 12 or 13 years back,” he told media operatives during a press conference on Thursday.He was at the time making reference to the criticisms levied against the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) by the APNU/AFC Government that it wasted $38M on filling the land at the Durban Park site and had presented documents from 13 years ago to support its arguments.“…imagine that was done some 13 years ago and they still could have found documents to show when the tender went out and who won the bid, we finished this project just two years ago and we can’t find any documents about the bidding process and who the contractors were, who supplied the material?,” Jagdeo questioned.Last year, Auditor General of Guyana, Deodat Sharma had told media operatives that the missing financial records for the project was prolonging a special audit which had been launched among concerns of corruption and mismanagement of the State’s resources.Works on the controversial $1.4B project, which was shrouded in secrecy, started in 2015.The exorbitant project has been the subject of fierce debate between Government and the OppositionAfter months of intense pressure from the parliamentary opposition, a motion was presented in the National Assembly forcing Government to divulge information on the project.In 2016, while utilizing his time in the budget debates former Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnarine broke his silence regarding his role as a Director in the Homestretch Development Inc (HDI), the private company that was created to overlook the development of the Durban Park.He revealed that HDI was set up to manage the project with donations from the public/ private sector.Some $400M was reportedly facilitated by HDI after which the project was then transferred to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, since HDI ran out of funding and could no longer complete the project on time for the country’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.It was at this point that more taxpayers’ dollars were taken to complete the project.Government in 2016, approved an additional $500 million to be paid out from the Consolidated Fund to a number of contractors and other persons owed varying amounts for works done on the controversial project.Contractors however, were still significantly underpaid, approximately $298M, for works done at the D’Urban Park complex.Finance Minister Winston Jordan told them they however, they could could either “take it or leave it.”According to Jagdeo, this project will go down in history as one of the most corrupt projects the incumbent Administration still has to answer for. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGov’t perpetrating brazen heist of Guyana’s Treasury – Opposition Leader JagdeoNovember 6, 2016In “Politics”Jagdeo calls for an investigation into Govt’s procurement, tenure policiesSeptember 2, 2016In “Politics”Govt hijacks PPP/C business in ParliamentNovember 5, 2016In “latest news”