The Tourism Ministry on Friday said that its contract for lifeguard services and beach safety patrol with M/s Drishti Services will not be renewed next year and fresh tenders are proposed to be invited for these services.
A communiqué to this effect was issued to Drishti Special Response Services Friday informing them of the government’s intentions. The communiqué has been issued almost six months prior to the expiry of the agreement between Drishti and Goa government in June 2013.
“We are calling for nation wide tenders and are going to the market for competitive rates and a new system on a turn key basis,” said a top official in the tourism ministry.
While the official said that the present services provided by Drishti are world class, he said, “What we have in Goa is the first of its kind in India and plans are to improve and widen the reach of lifeguard services from the beaches to the hinterlands as well.”
Presently the ministry provides all the equipment, vehicles and other facilities required by the agency. The new tender proposes to entrust the entire task to the agency which is selected from the bidding process.
Meanwhile, officials of Drishti when contacted refused to comment.
According to their records, the services provided by them have saved close to 1200 lives during the last four and a half years.
The communiqué of the contract not being renewed beyond June 15, 2013 has sent shock waves especially at a time when the company has bagged a similar contract to provide lifeguard services along the coastline of Maharashtra following its good performance in Goa.
The agreement between Drishti Special Response Services and Goa government signed way back in June 2008 under the Congress government comes to an end in June 2013 and the BJP government has intimated the company six months in advance of its intentions to float fresh tenders.
Questions are being raised as to why the government which has the option to extend the contract after it lapses in June 2013, as per the contractual terms, has not exercised he same and instead is engaging in the time consuming process of floating new tenders. [H]