The Orissa government which has identified 14 potential sites for the development of ports has drawn a roadmap for offering rail and road connectivity for these minor ports.
"The Government of India has announced a major policy initiative to offer Viability Gap Finding (VGF) for providing road and rail connectivity to the minor ports. As per this policy, the Government of India will bear 50 per cent of the cost for the road and rail infrastructure, the state government will provide 30 per cent while the remaining 20 per cent will be borne by the port developers”, G K Dhal, principal secretary (commerce & transport) said.
For the proposed port at Bichitrapur in Balasore district, the road connectivity would be between Jaleshwar and Bichitrapur while the rail connectivity would be from Digha to Bichitrapur.Similarly, for the port proposed at Subarnarekha mouth, also in Balasore district, the road connectivity is proposed between Basta and Choumukha whereas the rail connectivity would be from Haldipada to Choumukha.
The road connectivity for the Dhamara port in Bhadrak district has been envisaged from Jamujhadi on NH-5 to the port site. The rail link is being developed between Bhadrak and Dhamara.
Commenting on traffic projections of the state, Dhal said, “The traffic generation in Orissa is projected at around 400 million tonnes per annum in the next few years and out of this, the Railways are expected to handle more than 250 million tonnes. The state government has taken a lot of steps to strengthen the railway infrastructure. We have commissioned three important rail links- Talcher-Sambalpur, Koraput-Rayagada and Daitari-Banspani. Moreover, steps are being taken to expedite three other significant rail links- Khurda Road-Bolangir, Lanjigarh-Junagarh and Paradeep-Haridaspur”.
"The Orissa government has also proposed an industrial corridor on the Meramandali-Angul-Talcher-Chhendipada belt linking the coal mines, power plants and steel plants. Rail India Technical & Economic Services (Rites), the consultancy arm of Indian Railways, has submitted a draft feasibility report in this regard which is under the scrutiny of the state government. The Orissa government intends to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the purpose. This common corridor will be co-habited by multiple players and can be financed by participative funding”, he added.Speaking on the occasion, Sanjeev Sahoo, minister for commerce & transport said, “Orissa has substantial industrial base consisting of industries in steel & mines, aluminium, ferroalloys and a host of other sectors. Our state has a road network of 2.38 lakh km which includes 3508 km of National Highways, 5102 km of state highways and 30 km of state expressways.”
“Logistics is integral to the state’s economic growth and development. With investments flowing into the sate there is a requirement for adequate and efficient ports to meet the rising demands of the industrial sector. Ports need to be planned appropriately. Investment on supply chain management has become the core requirement. Private players have invested in ports and the state looks for similar endeavor in road, railways and air connectivity for major industrial districts of the State”, said S K Mohapatra, chief executive officer of Dhamara Port Company Ltd and past chairman of CII-Orissa.