CUR­RENT PO­LIT­I­CAL CRI­SIS HALTS PRO­JECT

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - METRO - BY INDIKA SRI ARAVINDA

De­vel­op­ment of the Jaya Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal at the Colombo Port has come to a stand­still due to the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cri­sis. The pro­ject, an­other in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject to come to a grind­ing halt due to the cri­sis, was set to en­hance the depth ca­pac­ity of the ter­mi­nal and pur­chase ad­di­tional ma­chin­ery. De­spite be­ing ap­proved by both for­mer cab­i­nets, the pro­ject was put on hold when the po­lit­i­cal land­scape changed once again ear­lier this week.

The ini­tial cab­i­net pro­posal, sub­mit­ted by for­mer Minister of Ports and Ship­ping Mahinda Sa­ma­ras­inghe on Oc­to­ber 5 and ap­proved on Oc­to­ber 23, sought to award the con­tract to ACESS NAVIS Joint Ven­ture in ac­cor­dance with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Stand­ing Cab­i­net Ap­pointed Pro­cure­ment Com­mit­tee (SCAPC) to im­prove the NAVIS Ter­mi­nal Man­age­ment Sys­tem and the Unity Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal (UCT) of the ter­mi­nal.

There­after, the pro­pos­als were sub­mit­ted once again to the new cab­i­net on Novem­ber

21. Also sub­mit­ted by for­mer Minister of Ports and Ship­ping Mahinda Sa­ma­ras­inghe, the new pro­pos­als sought to pro­cure con­tainer han­dling equip­ment and en­hance the deep berth ca­pac­ity of the ter­mi­nal and were ap­proved as rec­om­mended by the Cab­i­net Ap­pointed Pro­cure­ment Com­mit­tee. How­ever, cab­i­net ap­proved pro­pos­als to award the con­tract to pro­cure con­tainer han­dling equip­ment for a sum of USD 25.7 mil­lion to M/s. Shang­hai Zhen­hua Heavy In­dus­tries Co. Ltd. and award the civil work con­tract to en­hance the deep berth ca­pac­ity of the ter­mi­nal to M/s. China Har­bour En­gi­neer­ing Com­pany Ltd., with the Sri Lanka Ports Au­thor­ity set to fund the pro­ject.

When con­tacted, for­mer Minister Sa­ma­ras­inghe said he was un­aware of such a pro­posal and re­quested the ques­tion be posed to the Sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Ports and Ship­ping. How­ever, when an ad­di­tional sec­re­tary of the Min­istry was con­tacted, the of­fi­cial also said they were un­aware of such a pro­ject and di­rected the Daily Mirror to the Sri Lanka Ports Au­thor­ity (SLPA).

When the pa­per con­tacted the SLPA, of­fi­cials said they were un­aware of such a pro­ject and stated that they were yet to re­ceive the rel­e­vant cab­i­net pro­pos­als for guid­ance.

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