By Jayajit Dash
The Odisha government has decided to rope in Rail India Technical and Economic Services (Rites), the engineering and consultancy arm of Indian Railways, to make an assessment of land requirement for non-major port projects.
“We are going to engage Rites for assessing land need of non-major port projects in the state. We have already got government approval for the same,” said a top commerce & transport department official.
The department is in the process of formulating new guidelines for assessment of land requirement of the non-major ports.
Recently, the commerce & transport department had ruled out immediate allotment of land for Dhamra port’s second phase expansion. Dhamra port is jointly promoted by Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
The department had stipulated additional conditions which the port promoters needed to adhere to for being eligible for additional land.
First- the port has to achieve capacity utilization of 70 per cent of Phase-I in accordance with clause 4.4 of the concession agreement. Second- it has to obtain environment clearance from Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) for the proposed expansion. Third- DPCL also has to get a no-objection certificate from the National Green Tribunal in the matter of expansion of port beyond the limits of the port. Dhamra port needed 800 acres of land in the second phase purely for port operations.
The state government had identified 13 locations for development of non-major port projects.
Besides Dhamra, the state government has approved the establishment of a minor port at Astaranga in Puri district by Hyderabad-based Navyug Engineering Ltd. The initial port capacity is pegged at 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the port taken up a cost of Rs 7,417 crore. The port capacity will be eventually scaled up to 70 mtpa.
An MoU (memorandum of understanding) has also been inked with Aditya Birla Group owned Essel Mining & Industries Ltd for setting up of a captive port at Chudamani in Bhadrak district.
Other locations identified for development of port projects include Jatadhari Muhan, Bichitrapur, Palur and Kirtania to name a few.