Odisha gears up to set up Rs 4,000 crore Mahanadi Riverine Port project

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 20 (PTI) Ahead of signing of the MoU with the Centre for setting up of Rs 4,000 crore riverine port project in Mahanadi, a high-level delegation on Sunday visited the proposed site in Odisha's Kendrapara district, officials 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 apprised the delegation about the importance of the identified site.

The 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.

The proposed port will come up at Akhadasali village under Mahakalapada block in Kendrapara district, 13 km from the river mouth at Paradip.

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 official said, adding that Odisha in 2018 had decided to go ahead with Mahanadi Riverine Port.

However, the project couldn't progress due to lack of interest by potential bidders. Paradip Port Trust then evinced interest in the project and consequently, the MoU is proposed to be signed with the state government.

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, he said. PTI AAM RG RG