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Thu, 08th Oct 2015 (Source:Financial Chronicle )
The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday cleared a proposal to mechanise three berths at Paradip port on the basis of public-private partnership (PPP) at an estimated cost of Rs 1,437.76 crore.
The port on the east coast, which primarily handles bulk cargo, would see its annual coal handling capacity go up to 50 million tonne following the completion of mechanisation projects in the next three years. “The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,437.76 crore, of which Rs 1,412.76 crore will be spent by the concessionaire. The remaining Rs 25 crore will be spent by the Paradip Port Trust on dredging,” road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said after the CCEA meeting.
The cabinet approved mechanisation of east quay (EQ) berths 1, 2 and 3 at Paradip port on the build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis, under PPP for handling thermal coal exports, Gadkari said. The facility upgrade would result in higher operational efficiency and thereby reduce logistics cost for ferrying coal.
Mechanisation of the three berths would raise their capacity from 7.85 million tonne to 30 million tonne. Paradip is one of the 12 major ports under the central government and its hinterland extends to Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh among others. The port handled 70 mt cargo in 2014-15 and posted a profit of Rs 921 crore. The port has charted an ambitious expansion plan.
It plans to ramp up the capacity to 270.50 mt per annum by 2023 to meet the growing demand for export as well as domestic cargo. In another development, the Union cabinet gave its approval for the formation of a group A service of the technical cadre of the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. The new service will be called the Indian skill development service.
The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also cleared the construction of a national war memorial and a national war museum at Princess Park, near India Gate in the capital, with a projected cost of Rs 500 crore. “The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 500 crore and the total time for completion of the project is estimated to be five years,” an official statement said.