Goa Chief Minister vows to redevelop ethanol plant; issues tender

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that the agriculture department had invited RFQ from eligible bidders, and the contractor would be selected by March and the ethanol factory will be complete within a year.

In response to the protest by sugarcane farmers, the Goa Government has announced the initiation of a bidding process for the redevelopment of the Sanjivani Sugar factory. Chief Minister Promod Sawant has said that the redevelopment of the factory includes the establishment of an Ethanol production plant through a public-private partnership (PPP).

The government aims to revive the ethanol factory, which has been closed since the fiscal year 2019-20, adopting a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) approach.

Following the government’s release of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the factory’s redevelopment and the Chief Minister’s assurance that a contractor would be selected within three months, the protesting farmers decided to withdraw their strike.

The farmers had been demonstrating for the past week, expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to restart the factory.

Now Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has reassured the local farmers that the factory project would be completed within a year. Sawant, addressing the media after the meeting, mentioned that the agriculture department had invited RFQ from eligible bidders, and the contractor would be selected by March. He expressed the government’s commitment to restarting the factory, and questioned the motives behind the protest.

Sawant highlighted that, in adherence to the government’s five-year commitment, a total of Rs 30 crore had been disbursed to the farmers since the factory’s closure, regardless of whether they had cultivated sugarcane or not. He explained that the payment commitment was contingent on the ethanol factory restarting within five years.

Following the meeting, the farmers announced the withdrawal of their ongoing strike. They conveyed that the Goa Chief Minister had encouraged them to proceed with sugarcane farming for the current season, assuring them that the factory would be operational within a year.

The RFQ for the redevelopment project will be available for download on the e-procure site starting Wednesday, with the deadline for online application submissions set for March 1.

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