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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Inland waterways get the boost they long needed in India

This press release says it all. Kind of proud to have been a small part here. The big part is that the champions from DG Shipping and MMD will be kept as far away as possible from this once the rules have been set. Wonderful, overall, next step - coastal shipping . . . and the big boost to East and North East India, long awaited.

PM fast tracks move on private sector investment in Inland Waterway Transport
The Prime Minister has initiated a move to fast track the development and use of Inland Waterways Transport involving the private sector and Public Sector Undertakings. The initiative will harness huge potential of inland waterways in transporting bulk cargo like coal, food grains, fertilizers, project cargo, fly ash, Over Dimensional Cargo and containers at competitive cost for the public and private sector companies. Adequate use of waterways will also ease the burden on rail and road infrastructure.

At a meeting of the inter-ministerial coordination committee Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister informed that a tripartite agreement signed between the National Thermal Power Corporation, Inland Waterways Authority of India and a private developer has led to competitive transportation rates for the NTPC while private sector investment of about Rs 650 crore has been committed. This agreement relates to the Farakka Power Project.

The following decisions were also agreed upon in the meeting:

NTPC will provide long term cargo commitment for 3 million metric tons of coal for Barh power project once all its five units are operational by 2016-17.

The execution of Coal handling facility at Jogighopa and rail connectivity will be taken up under the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) scheme.

Food Corporation of India will expeditiously provide long term cargo commitment for 3 years for transportation of foodgrains to Tripura and Assam from Kolkata and within Assam.

MEA will try to extend the period of Trade and Transit Protocol beyond March 2012 when it comes for renewal to provide longer certainty to vessel operators. Further, efforts shall be made for early completion of Ashuganj multi-modal port by Bangladesh and its regular use as a transit port.

Ministry of Shipping will consider providing additional money, if need be, to ensure night navigation facilities on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.

ONGC and Oil India will convey a firm commitment of cargo through IWT in two weeks to IWAI.

CONCOR will provide firm commitment for transportation of part of their container cargo from Pandu through IWT.

The progress on these decisions will be reviewed in two months time by the Principal Secretary to PM.

India Maritime Week 2012 -

India Maritime Week was held in Delhi from the 17th through 21st of January 2012. Organised by Gateway Media of Singapore and Hyderabad. Here's my report, as carried first at MoneyLife:-

The deeper message from the India Maritime Week

January 28, 2012 08:20 AM |
Veeresh Malik

The participants at the IMW were reminded that if they wanted the freedom to grow, they had it, and there was no point in simply bringing up old issues. The approach was that the IMW heralded a solution oriented future, and was not going to be the complaint centre

There is a theory doing the rounds in the backrooms of power in India, quietly gaining strength with those for whom national interest takes precedence over anything else, that the Bombay-Calcutta axis of commercial power enhanced by the alignments of maritime trade as elevated in the post-Mughal colonial eras is about to self-destruct and implode into a natural end. This may not be very palatable to many, but then the truth is usually anything but bitter, and is more than wishful thinking by rival ports and cities and the people behind them which have come from literally the deep blue ocean and taken large chunks of cargo away from these two traditional city-ports.

Witness the following winds of change, globally and in India, as weather-vane indicators:

  • Large historically strong port-cities from powerful nations worldwide have re-invented themselves as banking and trading centres as the physical ports themselves have moved away. Examples —London, New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Tokyo and even Shanghai. However, they have also re-invested vast sums of money in building up the support infrastructure to make themselves global cities. Can we say the same of Kolkata or Mumbai, which have more or less, simply changed their names? Can the Kolkata or Mumbai Port Trust start to try to emulate the methods adopted with changing times by, for example, the Port of New York Authority, which has become a huge infrastructure company now known as the “Port Authority of New York and New Jersey”?
  • Vast chunks of the commercial aspects of shipping have moved to inland cities like Toronto, Geneva, New Delhi and some inland cities in the states of Connecticut and Virginia in the US. Even land-locked Mongolia is emerging as a maritime registry of some clout. Within India, shippers and customers inland now often have the upper hand over the ports, shipping lines and agents, which also dictates not just cost control, but also timelines demanded of the shipping industry. Shippers from upcountry inland centres who had to go and beg for everything they wanted in port cities even as recently as 10 years ago, will and do demand real-time solutions in their own town, or will simply not use those ports again.
  • Within the Indian context, the states which appear to be racing ahead with building ports and allied inland infrastructure are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Industry as well as consumption is already following them. The realities with Mumbai/Maharashtra andKolkata/West Bengal and their satellite ports are there for all to see, in comparison, which is sad, no doubt, but as put forward by one of the speakers, “time and tide waits for no-one”. Broadly, a clarion call has gone out to these two ports—shake up, or ship out.
  • Forget removal of cabotage, the message was that the government was going to make concerted and joint efforts to assist coastal shipping, though at this juncture the inter-ministry co-operations required were as hazy as the intra-ministry co-operation missing from within the various arms of the ministry of shipping. A call went out that like in inland water navigation, the cobwebs of the DG (Directorate General) of Shipping be removed so that coastal and inland shipping in progressive states could go forward like it did in Goa. This is a fact—the biggest stumbling block for coastal shipping in India has been our own shipping governance.

In this context, the first ever India Maritime Week (IMW) held in Delhi from the 17th through to the 21st of January, was a mirror to all that is going up and down, or better still, like the ocean tides, flowing in or out, along our coasts and connected aspects. Incidentally, one additional reason for holding this now to-be annual feature in Delhi was that it removed any trace of regional bias between coastal states and local power brokers, which has been the bane of similar attempts in the past. Holding this event in Delhi, straddling all aspects of the maritime industry, means that there was no Bombay club, Calcutta adda, Madras coffee-shop, Cochin spice or any other parochial or communal bias. This was simply—pan India.

The IMW also spanned seamlessly the complete spectrum of issues related to the role of shipping in securing and strengthening a country and its economy. Intermodal linkages (road, rail, inland water), ports, maritime industries (ship-building, repair, dredging), technology (software and hardware), people (HR onboard as well as skills development onboard and ashore), coastal shipping, passenger movements, ship-owning, finance and domestic as well as international regulations were just some of the issues where information was shared, and discussed, freely and frankly, often between disparate groups who were inter-dependent but rivals. In addition, this being Delhi, governance was present in full force, and made some important announcements which will have very deep bearings on the larger issues of national interest.

In addition to the inaugurals, where there was some plain speaking by various arms of the central government on past mistakes and future path forwards, were the surprise star sessions which sort of provided additional inputs on where the industry and therefore economy was headed. These included:

  • Real time status reports and plans of some of the private ports in the country, previously known as ‘minor ports’ but having now over-taken the major ports, also known as ‘non-major’ ports. The simple fact that such ports have aggressive marketing and sales personnel posted not just in inland centres in India but also abroad shows how far this business has come from a day and age when the trade had to beg for berths—as they often still have to do at the government-run major ports. To observe the marketing managers of some ports actively networking and hustling for business was such a refreshing change from what it is like with the ‘major’ ports.
  • Inland waterways seem to be stealing a march over all other forms of domestic transport, including linkages to the North East through Bangladesh. House-full to overflowing sessions. Freed from the shackles and cobwebs of the moribund DGS, this seems to be shooting ahead in eastern UP, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and even Kashmir. Gujarat appears to be blocked here because the Gulf of Kutch and Khambat are still under the ‘control’ of the ancient Merchant Shipping Act, and the islands are being slowly denied good sea service by rules designed to frustrate, but some changes are proposed here too.
  • Deliberations on how to turn around the central government-run major ports brought out some surprising numbers—the realisation from just about 8% of the land owned by the Bombay/Mumbai Port Trust, currently locked in by legacy tenants, would be more than enough to dredge and re-modernise the complete Mumbai/JNPT/Butcher Island/Nhava Sheva Port complex and leave enough money for outright purchase of one or two satellite ports not too far from Mumbai. The thinking here is that the PPP (public-private-partnership) route or seeking funds from the Centre is not really necessary for the Port Trusts when the major port trusts already have the asset base to take things forward on their own. The message was—if you don’t take your land back from your tenants despite being able to, then don’t come with a begging bowl to the Centre.
  • A session on petroleum imports (liquid and gas) and their storage moved on from the known numbers and projections to new alternate scenarios of impact of renewable energy and storage of both crude and gas in underground caverns, as well as issues of energy security and micro-generation of power using wave generation around ports. This is more than symbolic, since many of the larger oil companies—foreign and Indian—and their related entities are quietly re-inventing themselves as energy companies with eminently green credentials—where a continuous increase in consumption of energy does not mean a concurrent increase in the consumption of fossil fuels, solid, liquid and gas.
  • Some plain and straight talking by the ministers who attended as well as the civil servants and technocrats from the ministries and shipping boards as well as infrastructure segments of the government would have gone down hard with the industry. PPP was the preferred route, long-term investment with Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) was expected, security considerations were top essential and in that context ‘denied’ on security grounds by the intelligence services meant ‘denied’. Customer is King, and if you don’t satisfy him, then don’t blame us if they somehow go via Colombo, was another message which the Sri Lankan delegates, waiting in the slips like their cricketers, were snapping up. Mention needs be made of co-operation between India and Sri Lanka in developing and re-vitalising Sri Lankan ports. All bets need to be covered, right? Right.

There is most certainly a deep realisation within the government and others that India’s complete future as a nation is at an inflection point, and is also intricately linked with India’s economic strength, which in turn depends a lot on the maritime strengths. The message is loud and clear—there is no more time to waste, the country has a large coastline, those states and ports and support services which move ahead will be given all support, those who continue to waste time and bicker may need to be aware of the consequences. There are nine state governments with coastal assets, there are some central government assets along the coast, the North East states have a good chance of being linked to the oceanways through Myanmar and/or Bangladesh, and most importantly—the country is not willing to accept a lack of efficiency any more.

If there was one message that went out from the IMW in Delhi, then it was this—the new ports in India are now the destinations of choice for trade, import, export and domestic. And if the older ports and their cities don’t provide this vital service, then nobody outside is going to mourn their change in status. To be given guided tours of the old dock systems in Kolkata and Mumbai and realise that things are so much still the same in both of them as they were decades ago, when this writer first joined a ship, may excite those seeking heritage and vintage thrills, but brought out titters and sniggers of “same shame” from some of the assembled delegates.

And then you are shown real-time satellite feeds and video clips of the newer ports, along with first-hand feedback from friends still sailing whose ships call these new generation Indian ports, and get invitations from more friends working at these ports—and you say to yourself, wish it was easier to secure permissions from the other authorities currently paranoid about security to bring this message to our own people that this, too, is India. And then you head into the exhibition area of the IMW, and suddenly, all this and more on display there.

The IMW should have had a “public day” for general visitors. Or place a mobile exhibition outside Red Gate, Indira Docks, Mumbai and Netaji Subhash Docks, Kolkata, for the people of those cities to see what their ports and cities could be.

The aim of the government is to put up at least 130% of projected capacity, both in captive and common user facilities, of all shipping-related needs, after which, may the most efficient survive and flourish. The participants at the IMW were reminded that if they wanted the freedom to grow, they had it, and there was no point in simply bringing up old issues. The approach was that the IMW heralded a solution oriented future, and was not going to be the complaint centre—and that was clear to see at IMW 2012 in Delhi.

(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies and is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved actively in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves. Mr Malik had a career in the Merchant Navy which he left in 1983, qualifications in ship-broking and chartering, a love for travel, and an active participation in print and electronic media as an alternate core competency, all these and more.)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Costa Concordia sinking, and how it impacts India

Most of the articles on the subject of the sinking after the absolutely rash behaviour of the ship and people onboard the Costa Concordia seem to focus on the navigational and behavioural aspects of the whole episode. However, there are other issues of ship design, stability, documentation, alcohol onboard and more, which also need to be fleshed out.

Here's the first article by me on the subject.

Costa Concordia capsizing— and how it impacts India...
January 18, 2012 08:31 AM |
Veeresh Malik

How did the Costa Concordia simply keel over and capsize so quickly after being breached? Slightly deeper waters and she would have simply gone down, with no trace on the surface. Half exposed, she is going to be like that for a long time now, as a daily reminder to an industry slow on pro-active steps for better ships

As a leading provider of maritime workers to the world, not just technical but now increasingly in the hospitality and catering part of matters maritime too, thesinking of the Italian passenger liner ‘Costa Concordia’ impacts India in more ways than just the 300-odd Indian families whose bread-winners worked onboard what turns out to be a case of alleged criminal activity by a master and his complete set of navigating and other officers onboard. Variously being referred to as ‘grounding’ or ‘accident’, it is clear to all that this was an episode which was the result of a top-down failure of any form of responsible behaviour, from the owners and operators ashore to the junior-most officer onboard.

Not just the captain. In other words, if the captain was doing something, which was criminal to the point of being insane, then there were enough alternates available to counter such activities. In the so-called “good old days” the concept of being a “crack skipper” did not mean that the ‘Old Man’ was a psycho, but to be frank, it was close enough. And as long as they got the job done, some eccentricities were not just tolerated, but often treated as virtues. A life at sea is not easy, simple as that and the special breed of men and women needed have to be given latitude. It is even tougher on passenger ships, where the cargo tends to be far more demanding, since it is on two feet.

Going too close to rocks or shoals for sight-seeing, however, is not part of it. Certainly, there were navigators in the old days, present company included, who would venture to go close to Dieo Garcia to see if they could ‘spook’ the Americans into launching aircraft to chase them away, or head right next to Krakatova to take photographs of the volcano, or, most commonly, hug the Portuguese Coast when in the Atlantic so that the Goans on board could get a glimpse—but even then, in cargo ships with far less windage and certainly lesser potential loss of lives, the distance away from any features was in miles, not metres.

The Costa Concordia tried to get to within 150-200 metres of a known shoal. It was over 300 metres long, 35 metres wide, and even trying to turn away fromthe rocks would bring it closer, because the stern would swing into the turn towards the rocks, even before the bow would swing away—that is the nature of ships. Add uncertain winds close to shore, the natural attraction of land masses and ships, and a novice sailor on a dinghy would stay clear.

But then again, the bigger question is, what were the other people doing while this master apparently took actions which were not just stupid but criminal?

Consider the following:

# Even basic cargo ships are now equipped with data loggers that send live reports on a variety of parameters to shipping company offices ashore. It is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to keep a 24x7 watch on the progress of the assets afloat, multi-million dollars worth of ship, cargo and lives onboard. Just one of many reasons—the risk of environmental pollution due to leakage of oil, and the liabilities that follow—keeps people on board on their toes, aware that their every move is not just being tracked for analysis ashore, but also watched and listened to in real time. These parameters include status in live feed on aspects such as navigation, engine, performance, weather routing, even rest hours of crew working on board. Anything even whispered on the bridge or engine room can and is heard ashore.

# It is far more stringent on passenger ships. The days when a master of a ship was the last word on what happened on a ship have vanished quite some time back. A deviation from a course laid out, especially landwards into dangerous waters, would typically raise alarms and escalations at a variety of levels onboard and ashore. Analysing by hind-sight is always 20/20, but in this case, there is no way that such a violent deviation to within metres of an island would not have required an escalation to a person ashore with authority over the master. Such a person or persons is known as a DPA (Designated Person Ashore) and every ship afloat has to have more than one, so that action, if required, can be guided also from ashore.

# That such alarms on board and ashore were not recognised or responded to can only imply that either the whole lot of the people involved were celebrating a late night, on a Friday, or that this was done with full complicity of all involved. It can also be conjectured that the famous “over-ride” switches came into play, but not only on the ship—this would have happened ashore also. If there is a case that voice and data transmission from a ship is disconnected, then that gives rise to an even higher level of response and accountability. To blame only the master on board in such a case would again be incorrect—there are people ashore whose job it is to see that such direct violations do not occur.

# And finally, most importantly, it is a basic rule of Bridge Team Management, or any form of relationship between senior and junior officers on board, that a junior officer is given the full liberty to escalate or even in some cases countermand an order that is so obviously dangerous. The days when a master could browbeat a junior officer are over—even the junior-most officer on the bridge or crew member on lookout or helm duties, or even the catering person making coffee, has the authority to pick up one of many sat-phones on board and call the DPA directly, to inform him that he can see the porch lights of the houses they are passing, so close are they to the coast. This authority, the right to call the DPA on 24x7 basis using the ship’s communication gear if required, is printed and pasted all over the ship including in every mess-room and alleyway on every ship.

So how then, does this impact India?

The now not so recent phenomenon of piracy in and around the Horn of Africa leading to a total revamp on ocean routings in the Arabian Sea has brought ships on international passages unrelated to India to within miles of the Indian coast. There is the most obvious risk of ocean-going ships of all sorts not familiar with Indian coastal waters coming far too close.

But more than that, other issues impacting India in context with a far-awaysinking are:

# Higher insurance premiums which shall be spread across all the fleets of the world as a direct result of the huge claims that shall certainly be raised on the Costa Concordia and their insurers and then their re-insurers. Liabilities on western fleets are much higher and the insurance industry, in its wisdom and no doubt with lesser resistance, is known to spread the downside to the rest of the non-complaining world. Alert readers may recall how the aviation industry globally paid for September 11—similar or even bigger aviation-related disasters in the developing world have never raised such huge bills for the rest of the world to carry.

# Disquieting reports on the issue of language unfamiliarity with the Indian crew on board are surfacing through the grapevine, as well as issues of their certification and documentation, which are both not surprising. The saloon and catering crew is also supposed to be trained in basic life-saving and fire-fighting as well as passenger ship safety and crowd management techniques. The reality, as is well known, is something different. A walk to the Shipping Master’s office at Ballard Estate in Mumbai will provide an inkling of how similar it is to the RTOs and passport offices in this context. It is also a fact that Italian maritime certification also leaves a lot to be desired.

# A further increase in certification of safety required on board passenger ships, which will impact the already depleted fleet of passenger ships available to us in India for coastal, coast-to-island and inter-island ferries. This is in addition to the ships required for riverine movement of passengers. Viewed in isolation, this is good from the single point objective of safety, but in reality it spells even more delays. The truth on connectivity by sea of India’s islands is pathetic, if not worse, and this episode will further alienate our islands.

Bigger passenger ship and ferry disasters take place in Asian and African waters frequently. Hundreds of lives are lost and often this does not spark more than passing attention and one reason is simply because those ships are often more than decrepit. The other reasons are too racist to mention here.

But ships like the Costa Concordia, amongst the biggest and costliest passenger ships that ever sailed the oceans, are not supposed to sink like this. Leave aside the human element, ship-design, especially recent passenger ship design, is supposed to take care of one major aspect not too many people are talking about.

And that is—how did the Costa Concordia simply keel over and capsize so quickly after being breached? Slightly deeper waters and she would have simply gone down, with no trace on the surface. Half exposed, she is going to be like that for a long time now, as a daily reminder to an industry slow on pro-active steps for better ships.

A lot of passenger ships in developed countries are now going to come on the block after this incident, because there is an inherent flaw in their design, which provokes such rapid flooding and then sinking. There is bound to be a major change in design, and that will include much stronger vertical segregation, as against the continuous decks so commonly seen nowadays on cruise ships of this sort.

And these old-design ships will land up, where else, but in our waters.

That’s the biggest risk we foresee.

(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved actively in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves. Mr Malik had a career in the Merchant Navy which he left in 1983, qualifications in ship-broking and chartering, a love for travel, and an active participation in print and electronic media as an alternate core competency, all these and more.)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mumbai Port Trust, Taj Mahal Hotel, and a fraud on us?

Here's an interesting little episode - the land on which the Taj Mahal Hotel stands, all of it and some more nearby, is rented out to Indian Hotels (the Tata company that owns the Taj brand of hotels) for all of 13 lakhs a year.

Now, what happens is that in the larger public interest, somebody wants to know how and why this is happening, after all, why not put the property to open auction?

The Mumbai Port Trust, which otherwise seeks central funds for expansion, will not ask its tenants to increase rentals!!

Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666

B- Wing, 2nd Floor,
August Kranti Bhavan, Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi - 110066
Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666


Appellant : Shri Vikas Patel (present in person)
Respondent : Deputy Estate Manager, General Administrative Department,
Mumbai Port Trust, Mumbai (represented through Shri K.L. Sache, Dy.
Estate Manager, Mumbai Port Trust)
Date of Hearing : 26/09/2011


1. The Appellant vide his RTI Application dated 27/10/2010 had sought
the photocopies of Lease Agreement executed between the Taj Mahal
Palace (“Taj Hotel”) situated at Apollo Bunder, Mumbai – 400 001 and
the Mumbai Port Trust (“MbPT”) along with all such Lease Renewal
Agreements which were executed subsequently between the said parties.

2. The CPIO of the Respondent authority vide his Order dated
09/11/2010 denied the above sought information under Section 8 (1) (e)
of the RTI Act. Aggrieved henceforth, the Appellant preferred first
appeal dated 07/12/2010 to the FAA of the Respondent authority. The
FAA dismissed the said first 1Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666 appeal
vide his Order dated 19/01/2011 and held that MbPT has a fiduciary
relationship with its lessees and as such, the copies of the lease
agreement cannot be provided to the Appellant. The FAA further held
that there was no larger public interest involved in disclosing such
information and therefore, upheld the Order of the CPIO.

3. The Appellant has thereafter approached this Commission in second
appeal. The Commission has duly considered the submissions made by
both the parties and has perused through the material placed on

4. The MbPT is constituted by the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 (“MPT
Act”) enacted by the Parliament and the Preamble thereof reads as
follows: “An Act to make provision for the constitution of port
authorities for certain major ports in India and to vest the
administration, control and management of such ports in such
authorities and for matters connected therewith.”
For each major port trust established by the MPT Act, such as the
MbPT, the Central Government has constituted a Board of Trustees for
such major port under Section 3 of the MPT Act. One of the many powers
exercised by the said Board of Trustees under the MPT Act is stated in
Section 49 (3) of the said Act and reads as follows: “(3)
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Board may,
by auction or by inviting tenders, lease any land or shed belonging to
it or in its possession or occupation at a rate higher than that
provided under sub-section (1).” 2Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666
Section 57 of the MPT Act states that the Board of Trustees shall not
lease, farm, sell or alienate any power vested in it under the MPT Act
of levying rates without the prior sanction of Central Government.

In light of the afore-quoted provisions of the MPT Act, it becomes
clear that the power vested in the Board of Trustees of the MbPT to
execute lease agreement is a statutory power which cannot be exercised
without prior sanction of Central Government. The lease agreement
entered into between the MbPT and the Taj Hotel, therefore, cannot be
termed as being such information which is held by the MbPT in the
capacity of a fiduciary under Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act.

5. It is apposite to mention the following excerpt from the decision
of the Hon’ble Kerala High Court in the case of ‘Treesa Irish vs
Central Information Commission’ [ILR 2010 (3) Kerala892]: “16. […] it
is clear that 'fiduciary relationship', although arises out of a
transaction involving trust between two parties, it requires something
more than mere trust to make the relationship fiduciary. It also
cannot be equated with mere privacy or confidentiality. At the heart
of fiduciary relationship lie reliance, de facto control and
dominance. A fiduciary relationship exists when confidence is reposed
on one side and there is resulting superiority and influence on the
other. The Canadian Courts have developed the following tests for
determining whether fiduciary relationship has been established, viz.
Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666
a) The fiduciary has the scope for the exercise of some discretion or power;
b) The fiduciary can unilaterally exercise that power or discretion so
as to affect the beneficiary's legal or practical interests; and
c) The beneficiary is peculiarly vulnerable to or at the mercy of the
fiduciary holding the discretion or power.

Based on the legal principles arising from the above discussion, I am
inclined to add one more to the same viz.

d) The fiduciary is obliged to protect the interests of the other party.

From the material available on the subject, I am satisfied that those
tests can be applied for deciding the question as to whether there is
fiduciary relationship between two parties.”


6. Clearly, the features of a fiduciary relationship, as observed by
the Hon’ble High Court (supra), are missing in a lease agreement
entered into between MbPT as an exercise of a statutory power under
the MPT Act, with the Taj Hotel. Therefore, there is no merit in the
reasoning given by the FAA of the Respondent authority in this regard.

7. The Commission hereby directs the CPIO of the Respondent authority
to provide the information sought by the Appellant herein, i.e.
photocppies of the lease agreement entered into between the MbPT and
the Taj Hotel, Mumbai along with any subsequent renewal agreements
thereto, to the 4Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666 Appellant within 15
days of receipt of this Order.

The Appeal is accordingly allowed.
(Sushma Singh)
Information Commissioner
Authenticated True Copies
(D.C. Singh)
Deputy Registrar

Name & Address of Parties:

Sh. Vikas Patel,
Plot No. 31, Sector No. 9,
Above Central Bank of India,
Gandhidham – 370 201, Kutch – Gujrat

Southern Division, Estate Department,
Mumbai Port Trust, “Vijaydeep”, Third Floor,
Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg, Mumbai – 400 001
The Appellate Authority/Transparency Officer,
Mumbai Port Trust, O/o Secretary, Port House,

2nd Floor, S.V. Marg, Ballard Estate, Mumbai – 400 001

Appeal Nos.CIC/SS/A/2011/000666


Interesting, no??