A breakthrough appears to be in the offing for Rs 2,400 crore Keventer Agro and Dubai Ports (DP) World promoted Kulpi Port project, which has been stuck for 16 years due to clearance issues.
“I have met the chief minister and the industry minister, who have promised me that all bottlenecks which have hindered the project’s movement will be cleared within the next two weeks,” said M K Jalan, chairman, Keventer Agro.
The project which proposes a twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) terminal at Kulpi located in the South 24-Parganas district made headlines given the charge of the promoters that it was stuck due to red tapism.
The project was conceived jointly by Keventer and Mukand in 1994, and was later joined by British port operator P&O in 1997. P&O joined in as an equity partner. The deal got transferred to DP World when it bought out P&O in 2006.
At present, the project is being handled by the Bengal Port, a joint venture with DP World and Keventer holding equal stake. The third part of the stake lies with the state government.
For the first seven years, the project was stuck on issues of denotification of the Kulpi area where the state government was supposed to take over from the Kolkata Port. This happened in 2001. Subsequently issues arose with respect to dredging and subsidies.
“If you ask me about the bottlenecks that have held the project up for 16 years, I will have no answers. The land is mostly barren and readily available. Problems of clearances have marred progress so far, but we hope to have it all resolved soon,” Jalan said.