By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 21, 2020: Odisha soon will have a Rs 4000 crore riverine port to be developed by the union government controlled Paradip Port Trust.

A high-level delegation on Sunday visited the proposed site at Akhadasali village under Mahakalapada block in Kendrapara district- 13 kilometer from the river mouth, official sources said. The delegation comprising Chief Secretary A K Tripathy, Paradip Port Trust (PPT) chairman Rinkesh Roy and others travelled to the proposed site on a vessel.

Local MLA of Mahakalapada Atanu S Nayak was present at the proposed port site. He had a discussion with officials about the project while Kendrapara district collector Samarth Verma appraised the delegation about the importance of the identified site.

For the past couple of years, the state government had been trying to ground a Mahanadi Riverine Port. But, the project couldn’t go ahead due to lack of interest by potential bidders. PPT, however, evinced interest in the project and consequently.

The state government will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for setting up of Rs 4,000 crore riverine port project in Mahanadi the sources added.

The union Ministry of Port, Shipping, and Waterways has already agreed to the Odisha government’s proposal for the riverine port to be developed by Paradip Port Trust at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore. The project is estimated to generate employment for 6,000 people.

This all-weather and multi-user port on river Mahanadi will be set up in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode with a capacity of 54 MTPA at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore. In the first phase, the port will have the capacity to handle 22 MTPA cargo at an investment of Rs 2,562 core, an official said.

While the Paradip Port Trust will develop supporting project infrastructures like rail and road connectivity and dredging requirements of the facility, the state government has already identified 300 hectares of land for the project.

The state government will also provide the necessary support to PPT in respect of any additional land required for the project, the officials said.

On commissioning of the project, the port will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to more than 4,000 persons in the first phase and about another 1,700 in the 2nd phase.

The riverine port, along with the state-aided Haridaspur Paradip Railway line, will go a long way in boosting the economy of the Kendrapara district, the officials added.

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