Home India News Scams in Orissa port sector, alleges anti-graft group

Scams in Orissa port sector, alleges anti-graft group


Bhubaneswar : Anti-corruption group Transparency International Monday alleged a scam in the port sector activities in Orissa and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Officials denied the charges.

Biswajit Mohanty, a board member of the Indian chapter of the organisation, said the information he obtained through the Right to Information Act (RTI) revealed that the state authorities have in the past allotted two ports for development to two different private companies without going through an open bidding process.

The ports are Subarnarekha mouth in Balasore district and Astaranga in Puri district, Mohanty said and added that he has sent a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday seeking an investigation.

The government has also recently signed an agreement with a private company for development of the Chudamani port in Bhadrak district, he said.

The Orissa government decided to develop 12 minor ports in the state after announcing its Port Policy in 2004.

Soon afterwards, the government floated a global tender and selected Gopalpur Port Development Pvt. Ltd for the development of Gopalpur port, but did not float similar tenders for other ports, he said.

Mohanty said the government has also received applications from 25 interested applicants who desire to develop eight other ports without maintaining any transparency in the process.

He said he suspected there could be a scam similar to the 2G allotment row since no chance was given to competitors to bid.

A senior official of the state commerce and transport department said there was no such scam and the government has taken all steps in the sector after proper scrutiny.