The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is working on a plan to execute an "Extended Gates Project" at Balagarh in West Bengal's Hooghly district to facilitate faster and smoother movement of cargo, an official said on Thursday.
"With National Waterways-1 (NW-1) connecting Haldia with Varanasi and Allahabad (in Uttar Pradesh) coming up, we plan to build the cargo terminal at Balagarh, which is 40-45 km from Kolkata. The aim is to facilitate faster and smoother movement of containers, and also reduce congestion for north-bound cargo from Haldia and Kolkata docks using the NW-1," KoPT Chairman Vinit Kumar said.
"Since the KoPT has 300 acres of land at its disposal at Balagarh, it can also serve as an industrial zone, and we plan to invite the industry to set up their operations here."
A detailed project report will be prepared in three months, he said. "The facility will be a win-win situation for both industry and the port."
According to him, the proposed extended terminal gateway can serve as a storing hub for cargo from Haldia and Kolkata docks for their onward journey via waterways, or by road, and the facility will also bring down the turnaround time due to vehicular movement restrictions in the city. It will also decongest the city.
Extended Gates is a concept that helps reduce congestion and environmental impacts from heavy vehicles adjacent to ports and terminals.
Kumar said a RoRo (roll on, roll off) service is expected to commence shortly after successful trials.
"The service will ferry about 150-180 Howrah-bound trucks from Kiderpore docks. This is aimed at decongesting the city and overcoming vehicular movement restrictions during day time," he said at a session titled "West Bengal - Poised to Lead" organised by CII West Bengal as part of its Annual Day programme here.
The port trust said its bulk cargo terminal project at Haldia and liquid cargo terminal at Salukhali, Haldia, will add to eight million tonne capacity and help quicker turnaround of vessels.
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