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i-maritime News Service

Senior officials will meet soon to resolve Kolkata Port, Odisha Govt tussle - 2013-06-12


Senior officials of West Bengal, Odisha and the Union Shipping Ministry will meet on June 14 in Delhi to decide the fate of Kolkata Port Trust’s (KoPT) proposed trans-loading operations at Kanika Sands, islands located off the Odisha coast. The meeting will also be attended by officials of the Dhamra and Paradip ports and from the upcoming Subarnarekha port in Odisha.

The Odisha Government previously opposed the project citing possible impact on cargo flow to Dhamra, Paradip and Subarnarekha. To save the project, KoPT now proposes to conduct the trans-loading at an alternative site, farther away from the Odisha coast.

R. P. S. Kahlon, KoPT’s Chairman, said the Kolkata Port will have to file an affidavit before the Supreme Court in July based on the resolution reached at the meeting. He was addressing the media after a seminar on the importance of waterways on economic development, organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Government of Odisha had moved the apex court after the Ministry of Shipping extended KoPT’s limit covering some portion of Bay of Bengal close to the Odisha border. The Supreme Court suggested that the two parties reach a solution mutually.

Haldia dock-II

Meanwhile, Kahlon said port authorities have extended the last date for submitting the bid documents for developing the second dock facility at Haldia. So far, the date has been extended thrice. Concast-Hyundai and Adani Ports have shown interest in the project.

“Currently, there is a ban on industrial growth in Haldia based on a non-permissible comprehensive environmental pollution index. We expect the ban to be lifted soon,” he said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line