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APSEZ is committed to Tajpur Port and waiting for formalities from Bengal Govt

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KOLKATA : Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd (APSEZ) remains committed to Rs 15,000 crore deep-sea port project in Tajpur, West Bengal and the company is waiting for completion of statutory formalities, such as the draft concession agreement from the state, a top official of Adani Group said. Once the formalities are complete, APSEZ will work towards developing the port as per its plans and timelines, the official added.

“We remain committed to Tajpur deep-sea port and awaiting the statutory requirements from the state, associated with the project,” the official said when contacted but declined to be identified.

The comments come against the backdrop of a crisis in Adani Group companies following a report by US short-seller Hindenburg Research published last month. Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after Hindenburg made a litany of allegations in its report, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group.

The report raised concerns about the high levels of debt at the ports-to-energy conglomerate and accused the group of using offshore entities in tax havens to manipulate its companies. Adani Group has categorically denied these allegations.

Letter of Intent and Draft Concession Agreement are the formalities that the West Bengal government has to fulfil before the company can start work on the project. The state government is very supportive and they have guided the company in every step, the official said.

Adani Ports incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary named Tajpur Sagar Port in October last year for the purpose of developing a deep-sea port at Tajpur. The port is among the key infrastructure projects for the economic development of the state.

Attempts to get reaction from the state government on the issue did not elicit any response.

The West Bengal government had handed over the Letter of Award for the development of the port to Karan Adani, CEO, APSEZ at a post-Durga puja event in 2022 hosted by the state government in the presence of Chief Minister Smt. Mamata Banerjee, Industry Minister Smt.Shashi Panja, Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, and Industry Secretary and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Chairman Vandana Yadav.

Business chambers in Kolkata also remained optimistic and touted the current crisis as a short-term issue.

Tajpur Port is a major project that will have a multiplier impact on the state’s economy and Adani Group will move ahead with it, MCC president Namit Bajoria said recently.

The port is located near Tajpur in the Purba Medinipur district, about 200 km from Kolkata. It will have a deep draft of 12.1 metre and a channel length of 18 kilometre. This draft will allow the port to accommodate large capesize ships, which are the largest class of dry tonnage (DWT) cargo vessels.

A tidal support of 3.9 metre gives a net draft of 16 metre.

The port will create direct employment opportunities for 25,000 people and around one lakh indirect jobs, officials said. Total investment , including associated infrastructure of connectivity to the port will be Rs 25,000 crore.

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