The bidders for Gujarat government's ambitious Ro-Ro ferry service in the Gulf of Cambay region, are finding it difficult to find a right mix of Ro-pax vessel and terminal operator, prompting the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to extend global bid submission date for the second consecutive time.
The project includes selection of world class ferry and terminal operators which could provide integrated Ro-Pax vessel service and terminal operation on exclusive basis between Gogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch in the Gulf of Cambay region.
The nodal agency for the project GMB had first invited Request for Qualification (RFQ) from global bidders on October 11, 2012, with a deadline for submission being November 22, 2012. However, the November deadline was extended to January 18, 2013 and subsequently now it has been further extended till February 11.
According to GMB officials, the extension of dates for RFQ submissions was because the bidders were not able to find the right mix of Ro-pax vessel maker and terminal operator.
"The bidder are in contact with the GMB. They are trying to get the right vessel makers and orperators as per the terms and condition of the project," GMB official said, adding that the project was progressing well.
"Good progress is being made at both Ro-Ro ferry service terminals on either side of the gulf, at Dahej and Gogha," they said.
The recent works for the project include the ongoing construction of the main jetty at Dahej which now has much of its substructure and many marine piles in place. Construction of the water tower is also advancing with the core foundation structure and steel reinforcements now in place, ready for casting, GMB officials informed.
Meanwhile, building work also continues on the shoreline where the rock armour for the revetment is now nearing completion.
The Ro-Ro ferry project is one of the pet projects of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The principal objective of this project is to facilitate the establishment of a vehicular and passenger ferry service across the Gulf of Cambay.
While, Ro-Pax (roll on/roll off passenger) is used to describe Ro-Ro vessel built for freight vehicle transport along with passenger accommodation. Construction work of Ro-Pax terminals including berthing facilities at Dahej and Gogha sites are already in progress. The entire route is approximately 32 km long.