Defence Minister A K Antony Wednesday said that there was no connection between the delays in modernisation of the defence shipyards and construction of warships.
Antony told the Rajya Sabha (House of States in Indian Parliament) during question hour that "there have been initial delays in modernisation programme of Mazagon Docks Limited (based in Mumbai)."
"However, the delay in modernisation programme has not contributed directly to the delay in ongoing warship construction projects," he said.
The Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) modernisation was launched in 2009 at a cost of USD 240 million and was scheduled to be completed by 2011.
MDL is now building Project-17 Shivalik class frigates (about USD 1.5 billion) and Project 15A Kolkata class destroyers (USD 1.72 billion), apart from the six Project 75 Scorpene submarines (about USD 4 billion)
Listing out the main reasons for the delay in the modernisation programme of MDL, Antony said the ship builder could not pursue creation of Modular Shop, Cradle Shop, Wet Basin and Stores.
These works could not be done "primarily because for non-availability of land, want of permission from Mumbai Port Trust, and lack of adequate funds in the initial stage."
The Defence Minister said the Goliath Crane, which was tendered in June 2005 and August 2006, had to be re-tendered again in January 2007 "due to non-availability of qualified contractors", who could meet the pre-qualification requirement.
The contract was signed on Aug 6, 2009, he pointed out.
The Wet Basin tender issued in August 2006 led to a single qualified bid and hence, could not be accepted due to high price.
It was re-tendered in June 2007 and the contract was signed only in August 2008.
Building and ancillary works tendered in December 2006 too led to a single bid situation, but that too did not meet the criteria.
It was re-tendered and the Letter of Acceptance issued in June 2009.
"Stealth frigate (Project 17) and Destroyers (Project 15A) projects are running behind schedule due to delay in supply of high quality steel for warships, delay in finalisation and delivery of major weapons, sensors and propulsion system through indigenous and foreign sources," he said.
Two out of three stealth frigates -- INS Shivalik and INS Satpura -- were delivered in 2010 and 2011. The third stealth frigate INS Sahyadri is scheduled for delivery by March 2012.
"All efforts and remedial measures have been taken to expedite early delivery of system and equipment in respect of Destroyers Project 15A (Kolkata class) projects," Antony said.
"There are no cost over runs due to delay in completion of projects and hence no loss to government," he added.
The warship construction projects with Visakhapatnam-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) and Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) too are running into time over runs.
The building of 53,000 DWT bulk carrier, Inshore Patrol Vessel, and Bollard Pull Tug at HSL are behind schedule due to design issues, receipt of material and productivity on account of aging infrastructure.
At GSL, there is a delay in building Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV) due to failure of the nominated indigenous supplier to deliver the gearboxes.
"The gearboxes have been ordered from an original equipment manufacturer and the firs gearbox is scheduled to be delivered by early next month, which will enable delivery of the first NOPV by November 2012, followed by the remaining three NOPVs at an interval of six months each thereafter," Antony said.