The Mumbai Docklands Regeneration Forum filed a petition in Bombay high court challenging the development of a new offshore container terminal (OCT) near Mazagaon on several grounds.
The petition said MbPT should have acknowledged the growth of JNPT in Nhava Sheva. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1980 had directed that the Mumbai port hand over surplus area of its eastern waterfront estate to Mumbai, which is acutely starved of land and public amenities.
The petitioners argue that the OCT, expected to handle over 2,500 containers per day, will cause snarls. This traffic to and from the container terminal will generate over 11,000 truck movements per day.
Further, the petitioners drew the attention of the court to the inordinate delay in the project. After the Union government sanctioned the OCT in late 2007, MbPT received three bids. However, owing to "flawed and highly unrealistic'' tender requirements, two internationally renowned firms were disqualified on technical grounds. The single tender bid of Jaisu Shipping was processed for award of contract.
Later, the minister of shipping was keen to award the contract for dredging. After eight months of negotiations and processing, the contract for Rs 380 crore was awarded on April 1, 2009 to Jaisu.
The dredging of the berth pocket was to be completed by October 2009. But work is still not complete after 41 months. Dredging of 13 million cubic metre of soil, which was to be completed within 24 months (April 2011) is not over even after 41 months, the petition says.