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Vadhavan Port work picks up pace, requisite clearances by mid-Jan : Official MoPSW

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MUMBAI : India’s proposed ₹76,000-Crore Greenfield Port at Vadhavan in Palghar, Maharashtra, will have all “requisite clearances” in place by mid-January, post which work should be underway “next year”, a senior Shipping Ministry official said. Environmental clearances have been “received” recently, and public hearings in the Dahanu area of Maharashtra will start soon.

The Union Cabinet, Chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, gave ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra.

The total cost of the project then proposed to be ₹66,000 crore has subsequently been revised to ₹76,000 crore considering the changes that were required to be made for obtaining environmental clearances.

The Vadhavan port will be developed on a “land lord model”. Reportedly the Vadhavan Port Project Ltd – a JV between the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) – conducted 26 surveys and studies through agencies in India about various environmental aspects and impacts of this port.

Public hearing will be held for dredging 2,000 million cubic meters of sand off the Daman coast which will be used to reclaim the land for the port.

“So we have the cabinet nod, finance ministry approval (in-principal), P environment clearances received, and public hearings should be underway anytime now. By mid-January we are anticipating all approvals to be in place,” an official of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), said.

The port will be constructed by a joint venture in which JNPA will have 74 per cent stakes and MMB at 26 per cent.

Vadhavan port has a natural draft of 20 metres depth at a distance of 5 km, and 3,600 acres of land will be reclaimed for this port, the official said.

To be built in phases, the port will handle 15 million TEU (twenty equivalent unit) containers in the first phase and 23.2 million TEUs after the commissioning of its second phase.

According to the official, the Ministry will invest close to ₹38,000 crore towards setting up of basic infra, while a similar amount will come from private operators interested in operating the proposed deep-draft port.

Union Minister, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier said, the long term plan is to develop the Vadhavan-JNPA Cluster; Paradip and Deendayal Ports as ‘Mega Ports’ with capacity to handle more than 300 mtpa of cargo.

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