New port policy to augment cargo handling in Odisha

Tourism department to prepare a coastal tourism master plan to identify possible sustainable interventions
Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo| EPS)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo| EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: The state government will soon prepare Odisha Maritime Perspective Plan (OMPP) and Odisha Ports Capacity Augmentation Plan (OPCAP) as part of its newly formulated Port Policy 2022 for the development of ports and improving cargo handling capacities.

Both OMPP and OPCAP would be prepared after studying the maritime ecosystem involving ports, hinterland potential, cargo evacuation, port connectivity, environmental enhancement and development of the coastal communities.

Odisha handled around 160 MTPA of cargo in 2021-22, with the major port of Paradip handling the lion’s share at 116 MTPA. While the focus is to establish newer ports to cater to the increasing cargo volume, equal importance will be accorded to augment the cargo handling capacities of the existing and proposed ports.

The Commerce and Transport department notified the new port policy on Saturday, a day after it got the nod of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The state government has already identified 14 potential sites for the development of non-major ports, of which Dhamra and Gopalpur are already functioning. The new policy will facilitate private developers for the development of such non-major ports.

Principal Secretary of department Bishnupada Sethi said proposals for new ports, classified as ‘greenfield projects’ would be encouraged along with ‘brownfield projects’ by upgrading the existing jetty and other infrastructure into a port.

As per the policy, the build, own, operate, share, transfer (BOOST) model will be adopted for greenfield port development and rehabilitate, operate and transfer (ROT) structure will be used for brownfield development of fisheries jetty, passenger jetty or other cargo jetties/ports.

The Odisha Maritime Board (OMB) notified last year that it will facilitate and provide assistance to the promoter/developer in the acquisition of the land. The OMB envisages developing marinas and multi-purpose harbours under PPP mode along the coast to boost tourism and other ancillary sectors.

It will coordinate with the Tourism department to prepare a coastal tourism master plan to identify the possible sustainable interventions in different coastal areas for tourism promotion.

“The port developers would be responsible for the overall development of economic corridors, including roadways, railways, and pipeline infrastructure. The policy will promote a hub and spoke model for handling the movement of coastal cargo in the state,” Sethi added.

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The New Indian Express