The proposal for road connectivity for upcoming minor ports in Orissa has moved a step further with the feasibility study taking off.
“We had submitted a Rs 1,200-crore connectivity plan for minor ports to the Government of India. In response, they have roped in a Gurgaon-based consultant- Louis Burger Consulting Pvt Ltd and they have already started the feasibility study. In 3-4 months, the consultant will be submitting its report to the Central government after which we can expect flow of funds”, a top official source told Business Standard.
It may be noted that there would be a major focus on road connectivity to major ports and airports in the country in the 12th Plan.
A Planning Commission Working Group on Central Roads Sector has demanded special package for this so that it is implemented on priority basis, separating it from overall National Highway planning.
While two-lane connectivity for 50 minor ports have been envisaged at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, the cost of constructing roads to connect 24 airports has been estimated at Rs 1,800 crore. The proposal has been approved by the Steering Committee on Transport Sector for the 12th Plan held under the Chairmanship of Plan Panel Member BK Chaturvedi.
Earlier, the Orissa government which has identified 14 potential sites for the development of minor ports had requested the Government of India to formulate a policy to provide rail and road connectivity to these ports from the national network on the lines of major ports.
The Union ministry of shipping and highways is understood to offer 50 per cent funding for road and rail connectivity for these upcoming ports.
According to the proposal presented by the state government, the cost of rail and road connectivity for the minor ports would be shared equally between the Centre and the port developers.
Meanwhile, of all the minor ports proposed in the state, the Dhamara port has become operational and it is expected to handle 15 million tonnes of cargo in 2011-12.
For Dhamara Ports Company Ltd (DPCL) which has developed the rail link for its port project, the cost will be adjusted against the concession fees to be paid by the developer.
The state has witnessed grounding of investment of Rs 4,262.44 crore from non-major ports in the past 10 years.
The investments have come from four minor port developers- Dhamara Port Company Ltd (DPCL), Gopalpur Port Ltd (GPL), Creative Port Development Ltd and Navayug Engineering Ltd from 2002-03 up to the end of September last year.