Adani firm wins Ro-Ro terminal bid for Hazira, offers lease of Rs 1/month

Adani Hazira Port Private Limited has won the bid to lease a Ro-Ro (Roll-On Roll-Off) jetty at Hazira in Surat, after it emerged the lowest bidder at Rs 1.

Deendayal Port Trust or DPT, formerly known as Kandla Port Trust, had floated a tender on behalf of the Government of India to construct and lease a jetty at Hazira, which could possibly be an alternate to the Ro-Ro terminal in Dahej where the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), an arm of the Gujarat government, has been facing phenomenal dredging costs. DPT had also permitted players already having a jetty at Hazira to bid for the project.

“There were only two bidders. The Adani Hazira bid the lowest and will be providing a terminal at Hazira for Rs 1 per month. The second bidder was Essar Group, which had placed a significantly high bid,” an official from DPT told. The terminal will be leased to DPT.

Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had earlier told this paper that the new terminal was to provide RO-RO ferry services between Hazira and Ghogha in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. The existing RO-RO ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej was suspended on March 21, 2020, and has not been able to restart due to dredging issues at Dahej.

DPT, which issued a tender to build a new terminal at Hazira in May, said it will provide the required “waterfront and backup area at Hazira free of cost. If bidders do not have their own RO-RO jetty facility at Hazira.” The bid document also states that if the bidder has an existing RO-RO jetty (public or private) structure with ancillary facilities at Hazira, “Then they can participate for bidding and they may lease their existing facility to DPT for 11 months and thereafter. extendable up to 11 months.”

Government officials pointed out that both private bidders have existing terminals at Hazira that can be used for operating the RO-RO ferry.

The desired depth of water of 5.5 metres has to be maintained at Hazira, which is the responsibility of RO-RO facilitator Adani Hazira, said DPT officials. “They have to give us a fully functional facility on lease which we can use for running the RO-RO ferry,” another official said.

Apart from the terminal, Adani Group will also have to provide ancillary facilities such as waiting and seating arrangements for 200 passengers, X-ray scanners for passengers and baggage, washrooms, parking to accommodate 50 trucks and 100 cars, booking counters, emergency power backup, security and provide fresh water to RO-RO ferry on chargeable basis.

“If any hindrance (is encountered) on account of maintaining the facility by the facilitator, continued for more than two days. then Rs 10 lakh per day shall be levied after a written complaint from DPT,” the tender document states.

Meanwhile, GMB officials said the ferry project between Dahej and Ghogha that Prime Minister Modi inaugurated is lying suspended due to lack of dredging. GMB has been unable to provide a draft of five metres needed to operate the vessel. Over Rs 100 crore was spent in the last financial year in dredging for the ferry service, where GMB had employed the dredgers belonging to the Adani Port and the Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) to deepen the navigational channels and turning circles at Dahej and Ghogha.