The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has decided to ask Salgaonkar Mining Industries Pvt. Ltd., (SIMPL) to remove the grounded River Princess which has been cracking up, thereby bringing the saga to a whole circle as it was the same company that had brought the ill-fated vessel to Goa.
The government through the Tourism Department had invited global tenders to break and tow away the vessel and this process had invited a lot of criticism and allegations of undue favours bestowed upon Singapore based M/s Titan Salvage which was tipped off to bag the tender. The company had offered to remove the vessel within a period of six months and at a cost of Rs. 125 crore
The other shortlisted company, Goa based M/s Madgaonkar Salvage had raised various objections with regards to the tender process.
And even as this battle was on, SIMPL threw its gauntlet in the ring and offered to tow away the vessel at its own cost while accusing the government of wasteful expenditure of public funds. Besides several advertisement s in the local dailies, SIMPL also moved the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court over the matter.
Taking into account all these factors, the SDMA under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat decided to ask SIMPL to tow away the vessel. The two shortlisted companies will also be consulted on the matter, revealed a member of the SDMA.