Haags Bosch contract controversyThe Communities Ministry has once again reached out to the public in defence of the process used to award the $221 million contract to Puran Brothers Disposal Inc for the development and maintenance of the controversial Haags Bosch solid waste disposal site at Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD).The Ministry had come under fire last week by another contractor, Cevon’s Waste Management, which had also bid for the contract. Cevon’s had accused Government of going against protocol to hand the project to Puran Brothers.The Ministry had immediately responded to the claims by Cevon’s, but has again made a statement in this regard.The release said that the Ministry would at no time seek to deny any interested stakeholder the opportunity to contribute to the integrity and reliability of the process that would lead to improved solid waste management.“The Ministry further reiterates that it will act with dispatch in accordance with the necessary provisions to secure the environmental integrity in the operation of sanitary landfills.”According to the Ministry, no effort will be spared to ensure the highest standards of integrity, civility and ethics at the other municipal landfill facilities.Cevon’s Management, following the award of the contract to Puran Brothers, had moved to file a protest with the Bid Protest Committee (BPC). It said the decision to award the contract to Puran Brothers Disposal Inc was unfair and biased. Cevon’s also cited low price, technical competence, operation methodology and past performance as reasons for the protestLast week, the $221 million one-year contract was inked between the Communities Ministry and Puran Brothers Inc for that company to maintain the Eccles, EBD dumpsite. Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, when questioned by Guyana Times assured that the awardee was found to be the most suitable among the bidders for the project.He said efforts to bring relief to residents of Eccles and neighbouring communities have been, over the past several months, in the pipeline to ensure that the Haags Bosch Landfill facility was transformed into a site which complied with international and environmental standards.The Ministry said it remained committed to ensuring that new measures were implemented to guarantee the effective management of waste.At the signing of the contract, Bulkan had said that the signing of the new contract provided for different and improved features, including the use of a compactor unit to more efficiently manage waste and to extend the lifespan of the landfill site.“There will be daily cover of the waste to prevent odour and other unsanitary effects. There will also be proper firefighting equipment,” he said, since there have been numerous fires during the last couple of months, following the departure of the previous contractor.The Communities Minister said it was expected that a “fresh approach” from what was said was the continuation of an intended meaningful relationship between Central and Local Government.
Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot has rubbished rumors doing the rounds on the social media that he may flee India.“I am very much in India and have no intention to ever go out of the country, in fact, I am most comfortable here and have not stepped out of India since the last five years,” Dhoot said on March 8, the Economic Times reported.The debt-laden Videocon Industries Ltd is planning to raise nearly Rs 30,000 crore by selling its stakes in oil blocks in Brazil to repay bank loans, Livemint.com reported.“We will repay banks in the next 2-3 months by selling oil blocks in Brazil, we hope to raise around Rs 30,000 crore,” Dhoot said. He added that Videocon Hydrocarbon Holdings Ltd, the Cayman Islands firm owning the stakes, has received interests from some parties who are keen to strike a deal. Videocon’s oil assets in Brazil are estimated to be worth Rs 40,000 crore.Videocon Industries has economic interests in oil and gas concessions in Brazil, Indonesia and East Timor through its subsidiaries and affiliates.In January, the State Bank of India (SBI) referred Videocon Industries to bankruptcy court since lenders were not able to resolve loans by Dec. 31, 2017. The SBI had filed separate insolvency proceedings against Videocon Industries and Videocon Telecommunications Ltd.The company’s total debt was Rs 19,506 crore as of March last year.In 2015, Videocon Industries entered into an alliance with a Bharat Petroleum Corp unit (BPCL) to form a joint venture called IBV Brasil Petroleo in order to manage oil assets in Brazil. Videocon and the BPCL unit own 20 percent stake each, while Brazil’s Petrobras holds the remaining 60 per cent, according to ET.“Oil and gas business has been a tremendous success for us. We are the largest and most successful Indian private sector explorer in the world today. Total reserves in the fields that we have discovered in Indonesia and Brazil, have around 4 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent. We are working towards getting those fields in production. We were in the phase of the development cycle of these projects,” Saurabh Dhoot, executive chairman of Videocon d2h had said earlier, according to Livemint. Related ItemsoilState Bank of IndiaVideocon