BHUBANESWAR: The Government’s proposal to set up 12 ports is not making much headway even after disposal of a case pertaining to the port policy of the State by Orissa High Court. With no takers for Bahabalpur port project, notification for which was made in 1991, land acquisition is found to be a major problem for MoU-signed port projects. Responding to a question of BJP MLA Dilip Ray, Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu said the Government had issued notifications for the establishment of 12 non-major ports in the State with private participation.
The Minister said out of the 12 proposed minor ports, there is uncertainty in setting up of the port at Chudamani in Bhadrak district as Aditya Birla Group, which had signed a MoU with the Government to set up the port, has backed out of its decision. Meanwhile, the State Government has acquired about 700 acres of land for Kirtania port in the first phase. Kirtania port to be set up on the confluence of river Subarnarekha will be developed by Chennai-based Creative Port Development Private Limited (CPDPL).
The State Government had signed a MoU with CPDL on December 18, 2006 for establishing a port at Subarnarekha river mouth in the same district and the revenue sharing agreement for the facility was inked on January 11, 2008. Earlier, the Ministry of Defence had raised objections to the Subarnarekha project on certain grounds. However, the Ministry gave its clearance for the development of the port to be set up on build, own, operate, share and transfer (BOOST) model. The port required about 1200 acre of land.
Besides, Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Limited (NECL) has signed a MoU with the State for a proposed port at Astaranga. As land acquisition for Astaranga port is facing legal hurdles with several cases pending in Orissa High Court, the State Government has directed the district administration to speed up the process of identifying Government land. The project proponents have been asked to obtain environmental clearance for the ports. Meanwhile, the Government has initiated the process for getting necessary permissions for rail and road corridors for the ports.