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Govt begins land assessment for ports

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu

Bhubaneswar, Aug 24:
After Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) prepared a thumb rule on land requirement for non-major ports in the state, the Odisha government has initiated the process of assessing the land requirement for port projects in the state.
The engineering and consultancy arm of Indian Railways has suggested allotment of 50 acres of land for every million tonne of cargo handling capacity proposed by the developer.
According to sources in the Commerce and Transport department, the department has asked the port director to examine the cases of minor ports, including Astaranga, Subarnarekha, Gopalpur and the expansion proposal of Dhamara port in the light of the guidelines suggested by RITES.
In its report submitted to the department, RITES had benchmarked the land requirement for development of non-major ports.
“The agency has carried out an extensive study on land requirement for non-major port projects. Besides, a detailed presentation has also been made before port developers and officials of the department before finalization of the report. RITES has given a slew of recommendations on offering land to port developers”, said a senior official of Transport department.
This is set to be the first ever benchmarking procedure for land allotment to port developers in the state.
It is to be noted that the department had denied allocating land to Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and L&T, for its second phase expansion on the ground that the government was preparing a thumb rule on land requirement for non-major ports.
DPCL requires 800 acres of land for its proposed second phase expansion. The company had chalked out a Rs 10,000-crore expansion plan to ramp up its berth strength to 13 from the present two and increase cargo handling capacity four-fold from 25 million tonne per annum (MTPA) to 100 MTPA in five years.