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Gopalpur port to defer start of operation due to cyclone strike

Portion of breakwater at port dented by high tidal waves, full impact of damage yet to be assessed

Hrusikesh Mohanty  |  Berhampur 

High tides lashing out the Ramakrishna beach in Visakhapatnam as an effect of Cyclone Hudhud
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With a portion of the breakwater of Gopalpur port dented by high tidal waves created under the influence of cyclone Hudhud, the port authorities are likely to peg back the start of port operation scheduled for the end of this year.

“As per eye estimation, around 70-meter of the under construction backwater has been damaged due to the cyclonic storm. Around 950 meters of the 1730 meters long backwater was damaged in last year’s Phailin cyclone,” said one of the directors of Gopalpur Port Limited (GPL), Manmohan Moharana.

“The other damages will be known only after conducting a survey by the private surveyors,” said he said.

Appointment of surveyors, government approval of surveyor’s report on damages and repair works will delay the process of restarting the port operation, which is idle since Phailin strike.

“Our plan to start port operation from December, this year, is likely to be deferred,” Moharana said.

The port had suffered damages to the tune of Rs 150 crore due to Phailin. The loss due to Hudhud cyclonic storm would be known only after survey of damages.

Gopalpur port was upgraded from a seasonal port to an all-weather port in May last year. The last vessel was anchored in the port on October 7. Since then the port was out of operation after being hit by Phailin. GPL had constructed a multi-purpose berth with a capacity of 3.50 million tonnes of cargo handling capacity. Besides, it had undertaken other works to augment supporting infrastructure like power distribution network, railway and road connectivity.

GPL, jointly promoted by Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL), Sara International Limited and Hong Kong based Noble Group, was awarded the jobs of upgrading Gopalpur port into an all-weather port by the Orissa government on BOOST (build, own, operate and transfer) basis with an investment of around Rs 1,200-crore in 2008. However, Noble Group had pulled out of the consortium later. GPL has already spent around Rs 850 crore on the project to make it an all-weather port, Moharana said. The port plans to receive 1.25 DWT (super vessel) by 2016.

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First Published: Mon, October 13 2014. 20:19 IST
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