Privatisation of Dredging Corp of India stirs controversy

Privatisation of Dredging Corp of India stirs controversy

The ongoing impasse between Vizag- based and listed public sector company, Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and its employees is likely to escalate into a major standoff between Indian seafarers and government of India as the country’s top shipping unions, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the Maritime Union of India (MUI), are planning a nationwide agitation to oppose privatisation plans.

Abdulgani Serang, general secretary, NUSI, said: “Since its inception in 1976, DCI continues to serve Indian ports at low margins and also executes dredging contracts on behalf of Indian Navy. DCI is thus privy to vital and sensitive defense related information. Privatising profit-making DCI is hence not in the interest of nation’s interest.” Amar Singh Thakur, general secretary of MUI, said: “Liquidating a majority stake of DCI in favour of private players will be a huge blow to the country’s exchequer as dredging charges might shoot up phenomenally. Also, vital marine installations at Indian ports will be exposed to a foreign workforce employed for dredging activities by private players.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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