The State Government has started pre techno-economic feasibility studies for establishment of three port projects, Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Subrat Tarai told the Assembly on Friday.
The ports are proposed at Baliharchandi in Puri district, Bahabalpur in Balasore district and Bahuda Muhan in Ganjam district. The study will include establishment of a container cargo and a cruise terminal facility at Baliharchandi.
Replying to questions from Prashant Kumar Muduli and Alekh Kumar Jena (both BJD), Tarai said the State Government is taking steps for conducting a long-term multi-disciplinary study for another port at Bichitrapur in Balasore district.
Stating that the State had already identified 13 potential locations to set up port facilities along the coast, Tarai said while a port at Dhamra in Bhadrak district has been operational since May 6, 2011, the second phase construction work of Gopalpur Port is expected to be completed by March 2013.
The Government has also signed concession agreements with two other companies for setting up ports at Subarnarekha mouth in Balasore district and Astarang in Puri district, the Minister said adding that land acquisition for both the projects is on.
According to the agreement, the private port developers would complete construction work within four years of availing land for port and linkage roads, Tarai said.
Replying to a question on the problems faced for port development in the State from Bhujabal Majhi (Cong), the minister said, “Environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), approval from Indian Railways for getting rail connectivity and land acquisition are some of the problems for the port projects.”
Tarai also pointed out that the State has to secure clearance from Defence Ministry as some of the proposed projects are located near defence establishments.
The State Government has taken up the matter with the Central Government several times in this regard, he said.
He, however, said the State is expecting early completion of the second-phase work of Gopalpur Port and beginning of Subarnarekha and Astarang projects soon.