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SMP Kolkata opens doors for private investment in riverside luxury projects

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KOLKATA : Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMPK) expects significant investment from private players for riverside luxury projects for which the port has started leasing its prime land. The projects will be developed under lease rental mode.

SMPK had earlier invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from potential bidders for allotment of land at various locations, including Moyapur, Noorpur and Budge Budge, for the development of luxury resorts and hotels to understand the requirements of the potential bidders.

Land leasing initiatives

A tender process has also been started to develop an iconic riverfront commercial complex with a state-of-the-art infrastructure surrounding Kolkata’s Armenian Ghat, which has an exclusive riverfront. A tender is on for allotment of a land parcel on Strand Road near Koilaghat at a strategic location in the city.

Tenders for allotment of land near Indenture Memorial (in Kolkata), Noorpur and Budge Budge (in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district) are likely to be initiated soon.

“The proposals against riverfront development EOIs were received, and they shall be floating the tender shortly. SMP Kolkata expects wide participation from reputed organisations,” SMPK Chairman Rathendra Raman said.

SMPK land is generally allotted to private parties on long-term lease through e-tender-cum-auction basis, keeping the scheduled rent of the relevant zone as reserve price, either on annual rent or upfront premium basis, for purposes assigned in the land use plan.

Formerly known as the Kolkata Port Trust, SMPK comprises two dock systems– Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and Haldia Dock Complex (HDC). For KDS and HDC, areas available for allotment as on March 31, 2023, were 143 acres and 1151 acres, respectively.

A total 4,488 acres of land were rented out as on March 31, 2023, and total estate revenue collected in the last financial year stood at around ₹654 crore.

Established in 1870, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata, holds a unique distinction as India’s sole riverine all-weather port.

Revenue growth

The port achieved a financial turnaround in 2018-19 with a net surplus of ₹65.13 crore after more than a decade. Then, a continuous increase in net surplus was registered from ₹82.54 crore in 2019-20 to ₹304.07 crore in 2022-23.

During the financial year 2022-23, SMPK handled 65.66 million metric tonnes (MMT) of cargo, registering nearly 13 per cent year-on-year growth. It was the port’s highest-ever cargo level, surpassing the previous highest of 63.98 MMT handled in 2019-20.

The port primarily handles petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) products, LPG, vegetable oil, liquid chemicals, iron ore, thermal/coking coal, break bulk/dry bulk cargo and containers. Kolkata Dock System (KDS) is focussed on containers, while Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) is focussed on dry and liquid bulk.

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