CM seeks inclusion of more Odisha projects in NPP

New Delhi: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the Centre to include more projects in Odisha in the draft National Perspective Plan (NPP) for development of the maritime sector in the country.

Participating in the second National Sagarmala Apex Committee meeting presided over by Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, Patnaik said the Centre has devised a draft National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of the coastline and the maritime sector under Sagarmala Initiative.

Stating that only two projects of Odisha have been considered for inclusion, he said the other connectivity proposals and Industrial park proposals given by the state government in the first meeting of the Committee in October last year be included in the NPP.

“To start with, the road and rail connectivity projects for Dhamra and Gopalpur ports must be taken up on priority,” he urged.

Stating that development of ports along the Odisha coast will play a vital role in the development of the state and its neighbouring land-locked states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar by providing multiple exit and landing points for export and import, Patnaik said these ports will act as important maritime trade gateways for India.

“Development of port based coastal economic zones and industrial parks will lead to the growth of competitive port based industries and ensure sustainable development of the population living in the vicinity of the port,” he pointed out.

The chief minister further informed the meeting that many developers have come forward for development of ports in the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode because of the investor-friendly port policy of the state government.

He said the Dhamra Port, developed by Dhamra Port Company Limited, has commenced commercial operations of Phase-I of the Project in May, 2011. The capacity of Phase-1 is 25 million tonnes per annum while steps are being taken for its second phase development having capacity of 109 MTPA with an investment of Rs 10,016 crore.

Besides, the fair weather port at Gopalpur has been converted to all weather direct berthing port and is in operation now, while land acquisition is in the process for the development of Subarnarekha mouth port and Astarang port, he added.

Besides, the chief minister also proposed inclusion of four proposals of the state government in the NPP. They are a riverine port on river Mahanadi, petrochemical cluster at Paradip, steel cluster at Kalinganagar in Jajpur and provision under Coastal Community Development Fund for enhancing socio-economic condition of fishermen population in the coastal districts.

Thanking Gadkari for inviting states to this platform, Patnaik hoped that more clarity will evolve on the funding pattern of the projects to be taken up under the Sagarmala initiative, which will make it easier for the states to chart a course for the rapid economic growth that is focused on the ports.