The Orissa government would go ahead with the development of ports north of Dhamara despite the reservations of the ministry of defence (MoD).
“The state government will go ahead with the development of ports north of Dhamara as port infrastructure is of vital importance for the economic growth of the state. If the Ministry of defence is having any reservations, the same can be discussed between the Union defence secretary and the Chief Secretary. This will enable the co-existence of the activities of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and development of ports in the state”, said state minister for commerce and transport Sanjeev Sahoo.
The state government's decision to go ahead with the port projects north of Dhamara has been communicated to the Union ministry of defence.
The defence ministry's objections to ports coming up between Dhamara and Kirtania had cast doubts over the port projects proposed in the region.
The defence ministry had objected to construction of a port at Chudamani by Essel Mining and Industries Limited, an Aditya Birla Group company,
Since the proposed port was close to the missile testing centre at Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district and the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district, the DRDO) had objected to the project.
However, the minister brushed aside all apprehensions, stating that the port project would not impact defence operations. A high-level meeting was held by the state government on May 4 this year on the establishment of the port at Chudamani and at the meeting, it was decided that the port project and the activities of DRDO can go hand in hand, he added.
The Orissa government had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Essel Mining and Industries Ltd on October 22, 2009 for setting up of a port a Chudamani. The capacity of the proposed port at Chudamani was projected at 10 million tonne per annum by 2012.
Prior to signing of MoU with Essel Mining Industries, the state government had roped in Indian Institute of Technology- Chennai for conducting a techno-feasibility report on the location.
Besides Chudamani, the defence ministry had also objected to setting up of ports at Bahabalpur, Chandipur and Inchudi. The ministry was of the view that no port should come up between the mouth of Subarnarekha and Dhamara.