PPT gets eco nod for expansion

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Paradip: After dithering over around two years, the major seaport here finally acquired the eco clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for construction of deep draught iron ore and coal berths on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

The Expert Appraisal Committee constituted by MoEF studied the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms before taking the call. However, the authority laid conditions to comply with its recommendations which include:

•    ‘Consent for establishment’ from State Pollution Control Board under Air and Water Act.
•    No violation of CRZ norms.
•    Handling of containers through closed conveyors.
•    Spillage/leachate for removal of heavy metals.
•    Recommendations of EIA, EMP shall be strictly followed.
•    Set up environmental management cell for effective implementation of environmental safeguards.
•    Mangrove plantation and creation of green belt in the project area.
•    Details of CSR activities shall be submitted to the Ministry within two weeks with budgetary allocations.

Notably, the construction of berths will help in de-congestion of port due to handling of coal in higher capacity vessels up to 1, 25, 000 DWT and reduce sea freight.

The length of the approved coal berth would be 370 m, alongside depth of (-) 17.1 m and will have developed stacking area of about 1, 47, 000 square metre (sq m). The length of the iron ore berth would be 370 m, alongside depth of (-) 17.1 m and will have developed stacking area of about 82,125 sq m.

Paradip port, Orissa’s only major port, is a bulk cargo handling port, coal and iron ore being the major items of traffic. During 2009-10, it posted the highest traffic growth among major ports, both in terms of percentage increase as well as additional absolute volume, braving several odds. The port posted 22.84 per cent growth against the national average of 5.74 per cent in the last fiscal.

As per an estimate, by 2016-17, the traffic is projected to increase to 100 mt, comprising 30 mt each of coal and oil traffic, another 25mt of iron ore, other cargoes 14 mt, and containers 1 mt.

It may be mentioned here that Paradip Port Trust was adjudged `Major Port of the Year` for 2009-10 at the Annual Indian Maritime Gateway Awards 2010, organised by Gateway Media Private Ltd in November last year.

The award was conferred on Paradip Port for its outstanding achievement, exceptional accomplishment, high level of efficiency, productivity & customer satisfaction, active role in adding further capacity, and efficient & effective management of different projects in the Port during the year 2009-10.

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