Odisha conducts feasibility studies for 3 port projects

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday said it is conducting pre techno-economic feasibility studies for three port projects, including a Container Cargo and Cruise Terminal facility at Baliharchandi in Puri district.

This apart, pre techno-economic feasibility studies are also being conducted for establishing ports at Bahabalpur in Balasore district and at Bahuda Muhan in Ganjam district, state Commerce and Transport Minister Subrat Tarai said.

Replying to a questions on the port development activities in the state assembly, Tarai said: "We are also taking steps for conducting a long-term multi-disciplinary study for another port at Bichitrapur in Balasore district," he said.

Stating that the state has already identified 13 potential locations to set up port facilities along the coast, Tarai said while a port at Dhamra in Bhadrak district has been operational since May 6, 2011, the second phase construction work of Gopalpur Port is expected to be completed by March 2013.

"We have also signed Concession Agreements with two other companies for setting up ports at Subarnarekha Mouth in Balasore district and at Astarang in Puri district," the minister said, adding that land acquisition for both the projects are on.

According to agreement, the private port developers will complete construction work within four years of availing land for port and linkage roads, Tarai said.

Replying to a question on the problems faced for port development in the state, the minister said: "Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), approval from Indian Railways for getting rail connectivity and land acquisition are some of the problems for the port projects."

Tarai also said the state has to secure clearance from the Defence Ministry as some of the proposed projects are located near the defence establishments.

He, however, said the state is expecting early completion of the second phase work of Gopalpur Port and beginning of activities for Subarnarekha and Astarang projects soon.